KEYSER - On Tuesday evening, the Mineral County Board of Education approved the placement of a familiar face as the new athletic director at Keyser High School.

By Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - On Tuesday evening, the Mineral County Board of Education approved the placement of a familiar face as the new athletic director at Keyser High School.
Keyser native Shawn White will officially assume his new role upon the completion of current athletic director Lori Wilson’s tenure on June 4.
White brings a wealth of experience to the position, with coaching experience at both the high school and collegiate level, but more particularly, with direct and extensive experience as an athletic director, most recently with Potomac State for 18 years.  
“I look forward to being a part of the Keyser High School team. It takes all areas of an institution working together to be successful, from the administration, to teachers, to coaches, to staff members, and also to parents and families,” White stated.
He explained the reasons for returning to the athletic director field, “I love kids.  My youngest son is moving away to college in August and I don’t have any kids to follow.  I’ve always been around youth and sports, and it was just on my radar to get back in. The last few months I started missing what I was doing and I was ready to take the step.”
Accordingly, one of his favorite quotes is by Theodore Roosevelt because it relates so much to the work of athletic directors, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."
"Sports plays such a major role in helping student athletes learn several key aspects in life such as respect, loyalty, how to be a good teammate, how to work towards a goal, how important is it to practice, and very importantly I feel that it gives students the opportunity to make friends that will last a lifetime,” White explained
A 1989 graduate of Keyser High School, White went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in physical education/health, and a master’s degree in athletic coaching education, both from West Virginia University.
At Keyser, he played three varsity sports, football, baseball and basketball, then continued his athletic career at Potomac State College, where he played baseball for two years.
With a passion for sports, education and getting the most out of the student athletes in his charge, White built an impressive and extensive resume with respect to coaching and athletic director experience.
As a coach at Keyser High School, he served five years as the head varsity baseball coach and one year as a baseball assistant, one year as the head junior varsity basketball coach, and three years as the freshman basketball head coach.
At the collegiate level, he served as the head men’s basketball coach at Potomac State. In his final season (2018-2019), the Catamounts had arguably the most successful season in school history as they opened the season with 26 straight victories before falling at Frederick Community College.  
Three games later, Potomac State avenged that loss to Frederick and advanced to the Region XX title game against Cecil College. Unfortunately, the Catamounts fell to Cecil at Cecil to end their season with an impressive 28-2 record.
While he brings that successful wealth of coaching experience to the table, it’s his experience as the athletic director at Potomac State for 18 years that makes him a tremendous match for his new position at Keyser High.
During his 18-year tenure as athletic director at Potomac State, he helped spearhead and supervise growth in terms of sports offerings, not to mention numerous facilities upgrades.
When asked the similarities and differences between supervising athletics at the high school and college levels, White responded, “The first thing I’m doing is I’m reading the rulebook. I’ve been going through the WVSSAC website as much as possible and garnering as much information as I can.”
“The rules are significantly different, but the responsibilities are very much the same,” White stated. “You’re still supervising coaches, schedules, transportation, budgeting and facilities.  The best thing, the most important thing, are just being around the people and I love it.”
According to White, “Eligibility was a major part for the NJCAA, making sure student athletes were eligible at the college level. That was the athletic director’s responsibility at Potomac State. At the high school level, that mostly comes from the administration.”
One area he feels confident he can jump right in and help with right away is with the coaches. “One of my strengths is that I can come in and just help coaches. I’m not going to come in and try to run the roost and be a power guy, I just want to help.  We have a new football coach, a new softball coach, and just other coaches that I think I can come in and just help and guide towards the future.”
Keyser High School athletics have most certainly been in good hands under the supervision of Lori Wilson. With the extensive experience and passion Shawn White brings to the table, not to mention a love for Keyser High School, Golden Tornado athletics will continue trending in a positive direction into the future.