Pitman High coach and teacher Dustin Curtiss is preparing for his first year as the school’s athletic director after the retirement of longtime AD Dave Walls earlier this year. Curtiss was named the next AD back in April and has decided to leave his position as head coach for the girls varsity basketball team.
“I’m excited to get going with our student athletes,” Curtiss said. “We have a great group of kids at Pitman High, so it's something that I've looked forward to.”
Like his predecessor Walls, Curtiss has been a staple within the Pitman campus community for years. Come August, this will be his 13th year as a math teacher on campus and his 15th year with the athletic department.
Over the past 14 years, Curtiss has been the head water polo coach, the head JV baseball coach, a varsity baseball assistant, a varsity football assistant and the head JV basketball coach before taking over the girls basketball program nearly nine years ago.
Even though he has been heavily involved in a multitude of sports on campus, Curtiss wants to increase the interaction between himself and those involved in the sports he hasn’t had the opportunity to coach or watch during his time at Pitman.
“Being a football coach and a basketball coach and a baseball coach, I don't get to see too much of track or tennis, the sports that I'm not directly involved with, so it's going to be fun,” he said.
Curtiss also explained how he is excited to continue learning about the behind-the-scenes operations of athletic programs.
“I'm interested and really intrigued by the things you don’t really see as a coach, making sure everything is streamlined and making sure that it's in line and everything is ready to go,” he said. “I'm a very organized person, so I'm looking forward to the organizational part of it.”
As he prepares for the school year to kick off, Curtiss has credited Walls with making the transition to AD go as smoothly as possible.
“We actually sat down about two or three times a week,” Curtiss shared. “I've been working under him for 10 years, so we have a good relationship. He also told me you know when he when he did retire officially, he told me feel free to reach out. I've called him a couple times already this summer asking him about things, but really, we spent that last month of school really dialing a lot of things in and getting that transition started. It's just the kind of person he is. He's always been great. He's always been there to help you, so I didn't expect anything less from him. It's been amazing to work with him.”
As Curtiss gets himself better accustomed to the responsibilities of being an athletic director, his main goal and vision for Pitman athletics are clear.
“I'm really looking forward to working with all our student athletes, working with all the great coaches that we have and just building our program even more than what Dave has in the last 15 years.”