Passion to help kids lands educator his dream job

By Michael Kinney

Brian Hinson carried a lot of different titles during his time at Santa Fe South. Not only was he district athletic director, but he also was in charge of federal programs, child nutrition and the transportation department.

While he enjoyed the work he was doing for the school district, Hinson has always wanted to focus on just being an athletic director. That has been his goal since 2003.

So when Yukon Superintendent Jason Simeroth approached him a few weeks ago about the opening AD position in the Yukon (Okla.) School District, Hinson knew it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

“Just looking for an opportunity to just be an athletic director. It’s been my goal for quite some time now,” Hinson said. “Went through the process of obtaining several master’s degrees, getting opportunities to be an administrator. And I felt like the time was right to go ahead and make that move to just being an athletic director”

Yukon Public School made it official May 11 when they announced Hinson, 40, would become the new district athletic director of the ninth biggest district in the state.

“We as a school district couldn’t be more thrilled about the future of YPS athletics for our students and community as we welcome Brian Hinson to Yukon,” Simeroth said. ”Talking with him, you immediately know that he is a devoted educator that always puts the needs of students ahead of all else and strives to place them in the best position possible to reach their academic and athletic goals.”

Hinson was attracted to the Miller’s athletic tradition, which he remembers back in his days as a wrestler at Lawton Eisenhower.

 “I’ve always had a respect for Yukon,” Hinson said. “So we competed against them in football, wrestled against them. And they’re always a school that has some grit. I think they are a forward-thinking district. And that’s what excited me.”

The same passion that made Hinson an elite wrestler is the same type of drive he has brought to all of his past jobs. He says that will continue at Yukon, which will be the fifth different school district he has worked under.

“Just competitive edge, continue to create opportunities for the kids, and then just try to take them to the next level,” Hinson said. “They are very competitive. I think they’ve got great facilities. I think we have to do a better job of vertical alignment and trying to bring back some of the youth organizations that are going to help build those high school programs and hopefully compete for state titles.”

Yukon will be the fifth school district Hinson has worked in during his career. But it will be the first time his duties will be clearly defined under the athletic director umbrella.

Hinson will also become one of only two black district athletic directors in all of class 6A, the biggest in the state.

Yet, at one point, it looked like Hinson would be working somewhere else. Less than a month ago he applied for a position with the Oklahoma Secondary School Association (OSSAA), the governing body for high school athletics in the state.

When Hinson was offered a job with the OSSAA, it seemed like a forgone conclusion he was going to take the role. He just needed a couple of days to mull it over.

During that waiting period, Hinson was asked to watch over a group of students at the school’s playground and he was swarmed with hugs and smiles. It was at that moment he knew he wasn’t ready to not have an active roles in the lives of students. So, he passed on the OSSAA. .

Not too long after that, Hinson got a call from Simeroth who had heard he had turned down the OSSAA job because he wanted to be around kids. Simeroth told Hinson that was the type of person he was looking for to be the district AD.

Hinson will finish out the current school year at Santa Fe South before starting his new job in the summer.

Hinson already knows what he plans to do on day one as the new AD.

“First thing I’m going to do is I’m going to get with my coaches,” Hinson said. “And also the building administrators and identify the things that they’re doing right, and identify things that are obstacles that they’ve had, and try to remove those obstacles so that we can get better.”

After three years at Santa Fe South, Hinson is leaving the district in a much better position than when he arrived. He wants to make sure and do the same at Yukon.

“I think looking back, in all the districts that I’ve been a part of, I want to look back and know that I made a difference in kids’ lives,” Hinson said, “and I created opportunities that may or may not have been there had I not been in that position.”

Michael Kinney Media/ Story first ran in The Yukon Review

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