NORMAL, Ill. -- The Athletic Director position at Heartland Community College will stay in place for now.
At approximately 12:40 a.m. Wednesday, following a packed open meeting and a lengthy closed session, the school’s board of trustees voted four to three against a cost reduction package that included eliminating the position currently held by Nate Metzger. Metzger also serves as the head baseball coach.
Heartland President Allen Goben had proposed eliminating the position, which would save the school $58,000 a year.
Under the proposal, the work of the Athletic Director would have been absorbed by the Dean of Enrollment Services.
Supporters of Metzger spoke up loudly during the open comment portion of the meeting which lasted more than an hour and a half.
“If you have somebody that already has a full-time job, and you add athletics to it, then clearly athletics becomes secondary and not nearly as important,” said Jim Collins of Friends of Heartland CC Athletics. “In our opinion, in order to keep the excellence in athletics and to keep striving for the excellence that's already been achieved, we need to have an AD whose focus is primarily in athletics and not some other list of duties.”
Board chairman Gregg Chadwick, who voted against approval, said he would need more time to review the information.
The matter could come up for a vote again in the future.
Metzger's baseball team is playing in the Junior College World Series this weekend.