Dave Troxell called it his "dream job."
The 43-year-old Troxell, a Catasauqua High graduate, teacher and coach, was approved as the school's athletic director Monday night. He'll replace his longtime friend Tom Moll, who recently resigned the position to become the AD at Nazareth.
"I've been part of this community my whole life," Troxell said. "This community means a lot to me. I came right back here after graduating from Millersville in 1993. We have great people, and it's a great sports town. I've been a player, an assistant coach and a coach here, and being involved in this aspect is something I look forward to.
"It's a challenge, but I'll cherish it every day and do this job with a smile on my face and know I am doing it for the betterment of the athletes here at Catasauqua."
Troxell said he will reluctantly resign as Catty's girls basketball coach — "I really wanted to come back for another year because the kids worked so hard over the summer for me," he said — but hopes to remain on the District 11 committee where he has served as the parent rep for several years.
"District 11 has been a great experience for me because it's well run and there are great people who do great things there," Troxell said. "Working with people like Tom Moll, Bob Hartman, Brad Pensyl and Ray Kinder on a daily basis has been intriguing and will only help me with this position."
Moll has been helping Troxell get up to speed since Monday, the day that practice began for the new scholastic sports year.
"I am grateful to Tom for his help and for the job he has done for our school and community," Troxell said. "He has gone above and beyond the call of duty to do what's right. He has been sticking around to show me the ropes. I need to learn about all the paperwork at all levels. That process has begun, but it's a whirlwind to take it all in."
Troxell said he already knew all of the coaches and they knew him. He said he will be behind his coaches "100 percent," especially as they deal with some parents who have "clouded expectations."
There are always challenges, however, at a small school like Catasauqua in an era where participation levels aren't what they used to be.
"It's a challenge to keep your numbers up to a point where you can be competitive," he said. "Being the smallest school in the league, we're at a disadvantage already. We're a hard-working community and the kids are hard-nosed athletes, but it's a matter of getting them out there and competing."
Troxell said the goal for his teams is not necessarily to win championships.
"You want to compete and you want to win … winning is great," he said. "But what you want your coaches to instill in the players is the concept of working together as a team. You want to put the individual stuff aside and get them to learn lessons they can use their entire lives.
"When they come back in 10 years, I want them to have a smile on their face and say 'Yeah, we wore the brown and white and we competed as hard as we could.' Even if they don't win championships, you want them to cherish their time wearing a Catty uniform and leave with good memories."
Troxell, a language arts teacher at Catty, cherishes the teamwork he has at home. His wife, Gretchen, is a special education teacher at Northampton Area High School. They have three children — 13-year-old son Devon, 12-year-old son Derek and 8-year-old daughter Delaney.
"I have a great wife and kids," he said. "They have always allowed me the time to do what I love to do, and they're excited about this as well."
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun