Blue Pirate athletics is a point of pride for 1977 Williamsburg Community High School graduate Bob Hearn.
"I know most of the people that live in town. Most of the kids that play, I know their parents, their families," Hearn said. "It makes it really special."
That played a role in Hearn's decision to take over as football coach at his alma mater a few years ago to get that program back on track, and it also was a big reason he applied to become the school's new athletic director.
Hearn was hired to assume the latter role at the Williamsburg Community School Board meeting on Tuesday night by a 6-0 vote. Hearn succeeds Debbie Appleman, who stepped down at the end of the last school year.
"Bob will do a great job," Williamsburg superintendent Linda Smith said. "He's very active in the district. He's seen it from both sides - he was a board member at one time. He's very conscientious. He's just a great guy."
A farmer, Hearn was one of seven applicants for the part-time AD's post, two of whom were interviewed.
"He works very well with our students," Smith said.
Hearn is entering his sixth year as the Blue Pirates football coach. Last season, he guided the team to its first winning record in more than 20 years. He said that experience was part of the reason he decided to pursue the athletic director's job.
"Having been the coach and working with the people, the administration does a great job," Hearn said. "Debbie Appleman did a great job having everything in place. Everything has been run well. This is an opportunity for me to carry on."