Ken LeCain is happy to stay mostly behind the scenes in his duties as athletic director at Statesboro High. Well, LeCain's profile just moved right to the front after he was named Georgia Class AAAA Athletic Director of the Year Monday at the Georgia Athletic Directors Association Conference in Savannah.
LeCain, who holds a doctorate from Nova Southeastern University, was named Region 2-AAAA Athletic Director of the Year for the fourth time last month and he then was chosen from eight of Class AAAA's Athletic Director of the Year designees for the state honor.
"Winning the state AAAA athletic director of the year award is exciting for me for one reason. I feel it legitimizes the blood, sweat, and tears of the student athletes that made it possible," LeCain said.
"I love working with student athletes. They're hard working and don't have discipline problems."
Dr. LeCain has been involved with Blue Devil athletics for 20 years, 13 of those as AD.
"He has a passion for each sport," said Marty Waters, Statesboro High principal. "I don't know what I'd do without him."
LeCain manages all GHSA sports and events at Statesboro including literary.
"Being athletic director is time consuming, especially when we have seven sports running at once," LeCain said.
But managing athletics for one of the area's largest high schools that has a staff of 23 coaches, more than 600 athletes and 18 different sports, many with up to five teams each, requires more than time management. LeCain is known for his quiet, caring leadership.
"He's always demonstrated great trust in the way we run our programs," said football coach Steve Pennington. "He lets us do our job without micro-managing, but is always willing to listen and offer support when we have an issue."
As AD LeCain manages game contracts, travel, athlete registrations and eligibility, equipment, game supervision and referees for each sport. He oversees the work of athletic boosters, fundraisers, and event gate receipts that can exceed $180,000 per year. He manages the reinvestment of these funds back into both high school and middle school athletics.
LeCain also acts as a liaison to athletes' parents and assists them with understanding Georgia High School Association regulations.
"He has such a calm demeanor, always considers the welfare of the students, and can diffuse any situation," said Liz Raith, who's served as LeCain's secretary since 2007. "He is quiet, but he gets very excited at games."
Those games are expanding due to LeCain's efforts.
"We're one of the first area schools to offer swimming and girls' volleyball as competitive sports," he said.
This is part of his annual evaluation of SHS's athletic offerings and listening to students' input in the development of new sports. He has also recently added competition cheerleading as a sport and archery as a physical education class.
LeCain oversees the development, maintenance and leasing of athletic facilities to play host to these sports.
"He has given valuable input to the Board of Education over the past five years as they've sought to improve the athletic facilities at SHS," Waters said.
With Education Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) funds, the Bulloch County Board of Education has helped construct five new facilities including a new gymnasium, weight room, football and track stadium, field house, and a new tennis complex at Mill Creek is currently under construction.
LeCain's career with Bulloch County Schools began in 1991 as a physical education teacher at Julia P. Bryant Elementary School. He also was a baseball and football coach for SHS. In 2000, LeCain became an SHS assistant principal.
He also serves as the GHSA Region 2-AAAA secretary. The region encompasses 12 schools from Brunswick to Augusta, and he maintains region records and arranges awards ceremonies and trophy presentations.
In addition to a doctorate, LeCain holds bachelor's, master's and specialist's degrees from Georgia Southern University. His wife, Karen LeCain, teaches fifth grade at Julia P. Bryant, and his son Kyle, a former SHS golf and cross country team member, is a student at the University of Georgia.