XENIA — Nathan Kopp wasn’t looking to leave Xenia.
But with a young family, the opportunity to work just minutes from his home in Troy was too good to pass up for the Xenia athletic director, who accepted the job as Newton’s new AD and assistant principal this week and will begin there this summer.
“They reached out to me with the opportunity,” Kopp said of the school in Pleasant Hill. “I wasn’t looking. (But) it’s literally five minutes from my house.”
With seven-year-old Alex and three-year-old Collins growing up, Kopp wants to be around the house more, which wasn’t always possible with the lengthy commute to Xenia.
“When you leave the house in the morning at seven o’clock and they’re sleeping and you get home at 10 (at night) they’re sleeping and you’re like ‘I missed a whole day,’ ” Kopp said.
Being so close at Newton, Kopp could go home and see the girls and his wife, Melissa, and still be able to make it back to the school for athletic events.
“You can’t make up for time,” Kopp said. “Money doesn’t make up for time.”
That doesn’t mean it was an easy decision as Kopp has cherished the relationships he built in a short time in Xenia.
“I’m going to have connections and friendships that will long live past me being at Newton,” he said. Specifically, Kopp mentioned former football coach Bob DeLong, whom he still talks to “a lot,” assistant high school principal Megan Winston, director of personnel Mike Earley, middle school athletic director and assistant principal Josh Newport, and Dr. Gabe Lofton, district superintendent.
“People (who) have helped me grow up professionally,” Kopp said.
Some great things happened on the courts and fields under Kopp’s watch. The football team made it’s first playoff appearance in 2019 and won its first playoff football game in 2020. And there was also Samari Curtis being named Ohio’s Mr. Basketball a couple years ago.
“Those are moments I’m going to remember,” Kopp said. “I got to see some neat things here.”
Kopp is also proud of the state of Xenia athletics. He added an athletic department website, and Facebook and Twitter pages. The Benner Field House Classic was created, and with the installation of the turf field at Doug Adams Stadium, the district has had the opportunity to host myriad soccer tournament games.
“There’s a lot of cool stuff that happened in my five years,” Kopp said. “It’s been great and there’s great things coming.”
But the chance to work close to home was too alluring.
“For family, you can’t put a price tag on time,” Kopp said.
Especially when it’s only five minutes.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.