Howie Sompayrac Steps Down At Notre Dame

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

After 15 years as Notre Dame’s Athletics Director, Howie Sompayrac resigned Tuesday, after a meeting with Irish coaches.

During Mr. Sompayrac’s tenure as A.D., the Fighting Irish athletic teams experienced an unprecedented amount of success.   During his 15 years, Irish teams earned 7 State Championships, 5 State Runner-Up finishes, 51 Individual State Champions (including track relays), and over 50 team State Final Four finishes.  The number of state champions and Final Fours (in the last 15 years) is more than the previous 50 year history of the school. 

“One of the things that I am most proud of is that we have had 13 different sports reach a State Final Four and/or State Championship game in the last 15 years,” said Mr. Sompayrac.  “When I accepted the job 15 years ago, I received a call from Jon Keene (former Irish AD and State Champion baseball coach), and he said, ‘do you want some unsolicited advice?  To be the best AD you can be, you should treat every sport like you have a rising 9th grade son or daughter that is about to play that sport at the school.’  That was some great advice that I have tried to live by the last 15 years.”

Mr. Sompayrac has accepted a job at St. Joseph School in Knoxville, where he will be the director of School Advancement.  His wife, Cathy, has been offered an elementary teaching position there as well.  Our kids (Gigi-9, Luke-6) are so excited that we will be working at their new school.  They are even more excited that they will moving to the town with most of their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.  Gigi asked me the other day, “so after school, can we go straight to the gym and play basketball?”  I said,  (when teams aren’t practicing)

One day when I was driving home after a long workday last year, I heard one of those John Tesh “factoids,” or as he calls it “intelligence for your life.”  He said elderly people were polled nationwide and asked several survey questions.  For one of the questions, they all had the similar answers.  The question was, “Looking back at your life, do you have any regrets, or would you do anything differently?”  The #1 answer, by far, was “I would spend more time with my family.

"As Cathy and I prayed about this, it was abundantly clear that this was not only a great opportunity for us professionally, but also for our family.  While I have enjoyed every bit of my journey at ND, I have had to sacrifice time with Cathy and the kids.  Needless to say, we are both excited and humbled to have been given this opportunity.  We will be working at St. Joseph’s, which is a school that is growing and on the move.  They have recently built a new gym and they are planning on breaking ground soon on a new middle school wing for the school.  The north Knoxville area is growing, and we are excited to be a part of this school community at such an exciting time.

"The hardest part about leaving will be that the friends and the relationships we have built.  And the student-athletes at Notre Dame are like our extended family.  A big part of my heart will always remain at ND.  While our location may be changing, our love and support for this great place will never change." 


Georgia Northwestern Cheer Cats Secure NCA Nationals Bid

April 2018 is still some eight months away, but the Georgia Northwestern Cheer Cats have already got plans for Spring Break. They'll be spending it in Daytona Beach, vying for another national championship. The Cheer Cats earned a bronze bid for the NCA/NDA National Championships after qualifying during a team camp on July 21. The 12-member team will compete in the All-Girl ... (click for more)

ABCA Recognizes Chattanooga State Baseball For Excellence

The Chattanooga State Tigers 2017 baseball program was recognized by the American Baseball Coaches Association as one of 200 colleges (at every level) and high school programs earning Team Academic Excellence Awards. The awards recognize teams coached by ABCA members that posted a GPA over 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the 2016-2017 academic year. ABCA Executive Director Craig Keilitz ... (click for more)

Cleveland City Council Votes 4-2 To Pass A 46-Cent Property Tax Increase

The Cleveland City Council, with scant public notice, voted 4-2 on first reading on Monday afternoon to approve one of the largest property tax increases in the city's history. Richard Banks, Bill Estes, Tom Cassada and Vice Mayor Avery Johnson voted for a 46-cent property tax boost. Opposed were Charlie McKenzie and David May. Dale Hughes and Mayor Tom Rowland were absent ... (click for more)

Police Find Large Cache Of Meth, $23,134 Cash On Hensley At Motel Near Hamilton Place; Police Say He Was Supplier To Rossville Man Who Died In June 29 Overdose

Chattanooga Police said they found Michael Wade Hensley with a large cache of meth, a loaded handgun and $23,134 cash after being summoned to a motel near Hamilton Place Mall last Wednesday. Police said they believe that Hensley, 41, was the supplier for a 36-year-old Rossville man who died of an overdose on June 29. Hensley is now facing federal charges of possession of meth ... (click for more)

Do Something To Protect Our Children

It is unconscionable in this day and age that these children had to exist in such deplorable conditions and that an innocent baby suffered and died alone in a locked car.  Yes, there is blame and accountability considering this family had child neglect charges filed a few years ago (that were apparently dropped and expunged) and a large part of the responsibility should ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chik-fil-A Commits To East Ridge And Camp Jordan Development

In less than three weeks after a plan that could enhance Camp Jordan in East Ridge was announced, it has been learned that a Chik-fil-A restaurant will break ground at Jordan Crossing this fall. While developers John Healy, Matt Woods and Ethan Woods cannot make a public comment, the news is every bit as profound as James Earl Jones saying, “If you build it, they will come,” in ... (click for more)