MIDDLETOWN — Xavier High’s search for only the third athletic director in the school’s 55-year history will get underway shortly after the start of the new year.
Xavier officially announced this week that Tony Jaskot, who has been athletic director since 1997, will be retiring at the end of this school year. Jaskot’s decision has been widely known since late summer, when the school’s fitness room was dedicated in his name.
Xavier will begin accepting applications and résumés on Jan. 3 through the Connecticut Association of Schools’ website (casciac.org). Headmaster Dave Eustis said the search will end on Jan. 25, and after two rounds of interviews, he hopes to announce Jaskot’s successor by Feb. 28.
The process will be swift, and the reason for that, Eustis said, is “if we hire an outside candidate at another school, out of respect to that school we want to give them ample time during the school year to conduct their own search for a replacement.”
Dan DeConti, Xavier’s assistant athletic director, will be a candidate for the job, Eustis said. DeConti is a graduate of Xavier, where he also teaches math, and was 67-34-6 in five seasons as the Falcons’ hockey coach. He left the job last March to spend more time with his family.
In the 67-year-old Jaskot’s 22 years as AD, Xavier has won a multitude of state championships in football, cross country and other sports, and has introduced new programs including hockey, volleyball, lacrosse and Ultimate Frisbee.
Jaskot played quarterback at Xavier, graduating in 1969, and returned after college to teach and coach, eventually succeeding coaching legend Larry McHugh in the early 1980s. Jaskot’s career honors include induction into the Xavier Hall of Honors in 1996 and the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2013, the 50th anniversary of Xavier, he was a recipient of one of its Lifetime Service awards as well as the St. Francis Xavier Award for outstanding support of the school community.
Art Kohs was Xavier’s first athletic director — in fact, its first non-religious lay hire — when the school opened its doors in 1963. Kohs was the man behind the creation of the Falcon mascot and the school colors, black and white. He also had great success as its basketball coach and handed the reins to his son, Mike, the Falcons’ current coach.
“The legacies that Art and Tony have left, the excellence, the tremendous coaches they have hired – I’m not even talking about the state championships along the way — but all the good those two guys have achieved, it’s just really special,” Eustis said.