Edens named Whiteland athletic director

Once David Edens knew he wasn’t going to play baseball professionally, he set his sights on another potential dream job.

On Tuesday night, he landed it.

Edens, a 1994 Whiteland graduate who is in his eighth year as the athletic director at Clark-Pleasant Middle School, was approved by the school board to take the reins as the AD at his old high school. He will replace current athletic director Ken Sears, who is retiring at the end of June.

“This is one of those crazy situations where I’m getting an opportunity to do a job that, really, I always kind of wanted to do,” Edens said.

Edens played four years of baseball at Franklin College and spent several years as an assistant baseball and football coach at Whiteland, working alongside Sears for much of that time, before accepting the Clark-Pleasan AD job.

He acknowledges that there are differences between running an athletic department at a middle school and at a high school, but he believes that eight years of running a one-man department at one of the state’s biggest middle schools — and learning the ropes from Sears at high school football games and other events — have prepared him well.

“If this job would have opened up four or five years ago, I don’t think I would have been ready for it,” Edens said.

But the consensus at Whiteland seems to be that Edens is ready now.

High school principal Benji Betts, who competed against Edens in several sports growing up, said that there were numerous qualified applicants, but that Edens “really differentiated himself with his overall knowledge of the athletic scene in the state and in the local area, and his passion for this community and his passion for the students and the town and our corporation.”

Likewise, Sears was happy to hear that he’ll be passing the torch to Edens this summer, and he’s confident that the Warriors are in good hands.

“He’s a bright, honest, detail-oriented guy that’ll take care of stuff the way it needs to be,” Sears said. “You juggle a lot of different things as an AD, and he’ll be good at it.”

Edens — who has two daughters in high school at Whiteland and a son in sixth grade — the chance to remain rooted in his hometown has always been a huge draw. And while he doesn’t want to come in and tinker too much with what he feels is already a pretty successful athletic department, he does say that he’d like to take steps to increase game attendance, particularly among students, and he also wants to take steps to start up an athletic booster club within the community.

“He has a great plan and a vision for where he wants it to go and how he’s going to help us get there,” Betts said of Edens, “and I’m extremely excited to see how we work together to improve and make an already-great athletic program even better.”