OVAC Has New Leadership
By SETH STASKEY
For The Tyler Star News
There’s a cliche in life that says, ‘leave it better than you found it.’
As it pertains to Tom Rataiczak’s 20-year tenure as the Executive Director and Treasurer of the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference, there’s no argument that he accomplished that.
Now, however, it’s time to hand the baton to someone else.
Rataiczak will formally relinquish the reins of OVAC Executive Director Monday morning at which time Dirk DeCoy – who has spent more than a year shadowing Rataiczak – will formally take over the position.
“It’s not the end,” Rataiczak said. “I keep telling people that I don’t use the word retirement or resigned. I am simply changing positions.”
Rataiczak will remain active in the OVAC and continue to serve as the conference’s treasurer, a job he assumed when Nancy Mumley retired some 10 years ago.
“For the next year, I’ll still be extremely visible (in the OVAC),” Rataiczak said. “(Former Queen of Queens director) Linda Myers once said, ‘being involved with the OVAC is like being in the mafia. The only way you get out is when you die.’ It’s a family that once it gets in your blood, you can’t get away
Just after retiring from Bellaire Local Schools where he taught English for 30 years, Rataiczak was approached by taking on a larger role with the OVAC after Sam Mumley’s death. Mumley had served the OVAC in the executive secretary role for 32 years.
Upon accepting the position, Rataiczak believed he had a legitimate chance to surpass the tenure length that Mumley had served.
“I was 53 when I was hired and I thought, ‘I’ll beat 32 years in a heartbeat,'” Rataiczak explained.
“After I got in it, I thought, ‘how did he make it 32 years?’ Twenty has taken its toll on me.”