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Guinn named activities director at Helias

Guinn named activities director at Helias

January 17th, 2018 by Tom Rackers and Phillip Sitter in Sports Prep
Tom Guinn has been named activities director at Helias starting in the 2018-19 school year.

Tom Guinn has been named activities director at...

Photo by News Tribune /News Tribune.

It's an opportunity for Tom Guinn to do something he's always wanted.

"This has been a goal of mine for a long time, it's an opportunity I couldn't pass up," Guinn said Tuesday after he was named the activities director at Helias High School.

"When I heard the position was open, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me. I thought it would be a long shot, but I put my name into the hat. But I'm ready for it and I'm really excited."

Guinn, 35, has been a soccer coach at the high school level for the past 12 years. He was an assistant at Oakville High School before becoming head coach at Mountain View, then at Springfield Catholic.

Guinn came to the Jefferson City Public Schools system in the 2015-16 school year as a P.E. and health teacher at Thorpe Gordon Elementary School and has been head coach of the girls soccer program and an assistant for the boys at Jefferson City High School.

"After having proven himself as a high school coach, he is ready to move into the role of 'coaching the coaches' as activities director," Helias president Rev. Stephen Jones said in a news release.

"He brings a strong sense of Catholic identity and vision to this position, coupled with a strong work ethic and approachable personality," Jones added of being "thrilled" Guinn will be part of Helias' administrative team as its activities director.

Guinn is a graduate of St. Mary's High School in St. Louis and Fontbonne University, both Catholic institutions.

"A lot of what I know, a lot of what I'm comfortable with comes from Catholic education," he said. "Those are my roots."

Guinn earned his undergraduate degree in sports management in 2005 at Fontbonne, with a goal at some point to become an athletic director.

"But after I got that degree, I saw what a big task it was going to be to become a college athletic director," he said. "And then coaching kind of fell into my lap, which led me to go back to get my teaching certificate and I got into coaching."

Guinn led Springfield Catholic to state championships in 2011 and 2012.

"Getting that success helped me keep things in perspective," he said. "Winning that early, I thought I was pretty special. But as I got further into my career, I realized how hard it was.

"You have to have players who are working their tails off, you have to have great coaches, you have to have great school and community support."

Guinn knows there can be some long days serving as an activities director. But he said that's nothing new for him.

"Everybody warns me about the hours and the stress, but I've done two sports since I've started coaching," he said. "Boys soccer preparations really begin in June and the season goes until November. And then you jump right into preparations for the girls season that goes into June.

"There are a lot of late evenings that go along with coaching, I'm used to it. The work and the hours aren't foreign to me."

Guinn, who hopes to have a formal meeting soon with the staff at Helias, will remain at Thorpe Gordon and will be the head coach for the Lady Jays this spring before starting his new position July 1 at Helias.

"You walk through the halls at Helias, you can sense the success," Guinn said. "It's a strong community with a lot of history."

Dwayne Clingman is serving as interim activities director through the end of the school year at Helias.

Helias offers more than 50 athletic teams, clubs and activities for its students.