January 27th, 2012

Elementary Excellence: Arnold On Deck

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Elementary Excellence: Arnold On Deck
photo courtesy of longhornsround-up.blogspot.com

CSAA welcomes incoming executive director

The following feature is a part of a weekly series called "Elementary Excellence" - a set of profiles that will spotlight Louisville area Catholic elementary schools and its athletic programs, teams, traditions and excellence in all aspects of sports. Do you want your school to be featured? Send us your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

From public service as a police officer to coaching baseball, Rick Arnold knows about working to resolve issues for a better community and team.

And he says that fact, along with his own love and experience in athletics, brought him to a point in life to consider taking on a new position with the Catholic School Athletic Association.

“After twenty years as a police officer, I saw the strength I developed as I dealt with people. As I went through the interview process for the CSAA executive director, I was able to draw off those experiences. When someone gets kicked out of the game or has issues with game schedules, my past experiences to handle situations encompasses everything like that and then some from the police department,” said Arnold.

Arnold, who started training with the current CSAA Executive Director in November 2011, says he has already learned a lot about the job he will be in charge of in March 2012.

“It’s going great,” said Arnold. “It’s not a fast process taking over this role, but I’m working with Jim Frame who has 29 years of experience, and it’s been a great opportunity to learn a lot of details.”

Arnold grew up in Louisville, Kentucky in the St. Martha Parish. In addition, he attended Trinity High School and later went onto play baseball at the University of Louisville. With baseball coaching experience at Ascension, St. Xavier High School and University of Louisville, Arnold says he knows first hand what athletics mean to the Louisville community and the Catholic schools.

“I do have personal experiences as an athlete, and my time coaching at St. X and UL gave me administrative experience. When you coach at a higher level, you have to deal with people and whatever the current issues are with the teams,” said Arnold. “I learned to take all the details of any situation and make decisions based on what was right.”

Now a member of the St. Albert Parish, Arnold sees an extraordinary future for CSAA.

“I have lots of new ideas,” said Arnold. “I’m a big believer that the better you make communication among people, the better things will turn out. I’m working with Jim Frame, and we are trying to get a website built that is more up to date and user friendly. We are in the process of getting that off the ground to get information out more quickly.”

And with better communication, Arnold foresees better teams and programs.

I want to make the communication easier for the sports coordinators, volunteers and everyone involved. If we can make help make the athletic directors’, officials’ and coordinators’ jobs easier, then a lot of other issues will resolve itself,” said Arnold.

In addition, Arnold says there is an opportunity for possible new sports and events at the grade school level in the future.

“We will look at adding lacrosse, possibly adding third and fourth grade field hockey and expanding sports into the younger grades,” said Arnold. “It comes down to time, space and facilities to make it work.”

According to Arnold, he cherishes the fact that he will be a part of the Catholic schools’ athletic program founded in 1948 that allows every kid to play and compete.

“The CSAA is for recreational athletes up to competitive type players so the program encompasses everything,” said Arnold. The kids compete for their schools and develop pride. We are keeping score and it does matter, but the faith based Christian Catholic values will never be compromised.”

And even with new plans forging ahead in 2012, Arnold holds true to the basic principals that have brought the CSAA to where it is today.

Said Arnold: “The sports program is about faith first while also learning life skills, having fun and learning to manage time. To me, that’s what it is all about.”


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