Polk’s new athletic director brings his A game

Published 4:21 pm Friday, September 29, 2017

COLUMBUS – Polk County High School’s new athletic director has his work cut out for him, but he’s up to the task. Rex Wells brings 40 years of education experience to the school’s athletic program.

Wells retired last year after 23 years at Asheville High School and several years as football coach and athletic director at his alma mater, Enka High School. Wells, who tried retirement life for a year, said he missed the students and the coaches.

“I want to help the coaches and the athletes be the best they can be,” Wells said. “I want to give them the resources they need to be successful.”

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Wells’ job is to coordinate all the sports programs at the school. That includes coaching the coaches, coordinating the schedules, supervising the home games, making sure the facilities are ready, overseeing concessions for all the games, scheduling officials such as referees, security and gate keepers, keeping track of students’ eligibility records and coordinating communication between students, parents, coaches, faculty and administration.

“When there’s a problem it’s me,” Wells said. “I’ve got the fire hat on.”

According to Wells he decided at age 14 he wanted to do something in athletics. He said his high school football coach was like a second father to him. Because of his coach’s influence, Wells wanted to be a positive force in the lives of young people.

“Athletics is an extension of the classroom,” said Wells. “The coaches are trying to teach ideals and principles that will help the kids for the rest of their lives.”

While Wells did play football, his favorite sport was wrestling. However, he values all sports and says they are equally important. He adds that wrestling is the oldest sport and that the students learn about the early sports played in the Olympic games.

Wells is working with the faculty to upgrade some of the facilities at Polk County High School including a new gym floor which has a new type of stained finish rather than the older style painted finishes. Other improvements include new name boards in the gym, new chairs and new wall padding.