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LaFon new athletic director at Ironton

Mark LaFon will be wearing a second hat.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers’ boys’ basketball coach has been named the new athletic director by Ironton City Schools superintendent Dean Nance.

LaFon has been an assistant principal for nearly a decade at Ironton and South Point. After considerable debate, LaFon decided to pursue the position.

“At this time in my life, my enjoyment in coaching is such a priority that (the athletic director job) matches my coaching,” said LaFon.

“I didn’t want to have one job pulling on another. I can be more effective in each.”

LaFon spent the past weekend pouring over documents in order to get a better handle on the status of the athletic department.

“One of the major issues is funding. Our expenditures have increased but our revenue has decreased,” said LaFon.

“Finances is the big thing. You have to watch your spending. We have to streamline it and try to generate new sources of revenue.”

LaFon said his foremost projects are renovations to Tanks Memorial Stadium and the Conley Sports Center.

However, there are other facilities that are in need of an upgrade including the track. Also, the new baseball and softball fields must be completed.

“We have to start thinking money, but I also want to get the coaches working together. They each have their own programs, but we need to work together and be conscious of each others’ needs,” said LaFon.

The athletic director job opened up when Mark Vass decided to take a physical education job in the school system. Vass served as athletic director the past three years.

Formerly a supplemental job, Nance made the athletic director position full-time two years after long-time Ironton athletic director Mike Burcham retired seven years ago. The position was filled by Terry Parker before Vass’ hiring three years ago.