Shanks named Webster City activities director

Hiring a head football coach tops the list of priorities

WEBSTER CITY — Joe Shanks has accepted the permanent position of activities director at Webster City, and the hire was approved by the school board Monday night.

Shanks has served as the interim athletic director at Webster City since Jan. 1. His interim contract was initially set to run through June 30.

Shanks said he was offered the job by Webster City Superintendent Dr. Mandy Ross Sunday evening and he happily said yes.

“(Wife) Jody and I are ecstatic about the opportunity we have at Webster City and I’m going to do the best job I can,” Shanks said. “It’s a situation I feel very comfortable in because I enjoy the kids, coaches and parents. Every day I want to go in with the attitude that I’m going to make a difference.”

Ross said there were 21 individuals — students, coaches, activities advisors and administrators — involved in the interview process. Shanks’ long tenure at nearby Fort Dodge St. Edmond and his ability to connect with people helped him to stand out.

“We had an amazing group of candidates and what set Joe apart was his experience and his demeanor was very much brought to my attention when I debriefed with the interview team,” Dr. Ross said. “Plus he also knows our conference. With those qualities, Joe really rose to the top for the group.”

Shanks will oversee all extra-curricular activities that involve other school districts. In addition to the Webster City athletic programs, he also will be involved with things such as FFA, band and choir.

It’s a new position for the school district, one that Dr. Ross says is still evolving.

“We really want someone who can give kids some balance between athletics and activities, and (Shanks) has the experience,” Dr. Ross said.

Shanks served as the activities director for several years at St. Edmond and says he understands what the position entails.

“My last two or three years at St. Edmond I was the activities director … working with things like the music program was really good for me because I learned different things,” Shanks said. “People that are in other groups are going to inform me how they want to do things, and my job is to help them accomplish what their goals are.”

One of the top priorities for Shanks will be to hire a head football coach, a position that has been vacant since Bob Howard retired as Webster City’s athletics director and resigned as the head coach last fall.

“It’s a definite priority on my part and the administration’s part to get that settled,” he said.

Dr. Ross said the head football position is currently being advertised. She is hopeful the interview process will take place later this month with a new coach installed sometime in early April.

Shanks spent 21 years at St. Edmond where he served as the Gaels’ athletic director. He also spent time as the Dean of Students, the transportation and facilities director, and two stints as the head baseball coach. He was at the helm in 2009 when St. Edmond captured the Class 2A state baseball championship.

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