Passing the baton
Pumroy replaces Wysokinski at St. Mary’s Ryken
St. Mary’s Ryken announced it has a new athletic director on Monday, as Joe Wysokinski has been promoted as the new Dean of Students after two years as the Knights’ athletic director.
Wysokinski is currently working on his master’s degree in leadership, administration and supervision through Notre Dame of Maryland and will still continue to work on the football staff alongside head coach Jerry Franks.
Wysokinski has past the baton to Burt John (B.J.) Pumroy, who has over 26 years of higher education experience at the college level, according to a recent press release.
“At the end of the school year Dr. [Edward] Weiland retired and the position was posted here and I applied and interviewed and found out I was accepted for the position at the end of June, beginning of July” Wysokinski said. “The reason I first wanted to become the athletic director was to certainly work with the kids and I find that athletics is a way to make students well-rounded. We have a great group of coaches here and it’s been a pleasure working with all of them, exploring all of their talents and skills and making the best experience possible for our student athletes on campus.
“I really look forward to seeing Mr. Pumroy take this position to another level in working with our students here. It’s sad for me to step away from that spot. I talked to my wife before I decided. I loved working with the kids and the coaches, our faculty. Our faculty is so supportive of our students and then when you throw student-athletes in there, the faculty is like another extension of our coaching staff. Everyone here just works so hard and cares so much and at the end of the day they all want to make it such a successful day for the students.”
Pumroy said he and his wife and two sons can’t wait to cheer for the Knights as he is currently transitioning into his new role and settling in.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Truman State and his master’s degree in sports administration from Northwestern State University in Louisiana.
“I was recently an athletic director at Shepherd University (West Virginia),” Pumroy said. “One of the reasons I was interested [in the position] was because we’d gotten a couple of baseball players, Austin Guy and Mike Brown, who were both Ryken grads. I was familiar with them being really good folks so that’s helped me in my interest in this place [St. Mary’s County].
“I had been to the Eastern Shore and had some familiarity from some coaches and athletes about the southern part of the state of Maryland. I grew up in the midwest and seemingly it has a lot of the amenities of the midwest as far as some of the [family] values, the more rural area and hardworking life but yet there are quite some amenities this way too. I hadn’t met Joe [Wysokinski] before, not until on the phone.”
Pumroy was looking for a new path and he saw the opening on a website for coaches working within the collegiate level.
“I approached our associate football coach Ernie McCook who recruits this area and he’s originally from the Kent Island area and he’s known Coach Franks for many years and had great things to say about the place so I thought this would be a great place to look at.”
Pumroy said he is aware of the many successful athletes that have graced the fields at SMR and he wants to continue that successful tradition.
“I want them [the athletes] to continue the successes that they’ve had here but also work on ways to make the successes more numerous. I also want them to have good experiences while they’re here.”
Pumroy said he’s familiar with the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.
“The quality of the program is carried nationwide and knowing what the strength of the Knights will be going up against is quite a formidable one, we want to give the kids what’s necessary to face those strong opponents,” he said. “My family and I are looking forward to this new challenge and we can’t wait to cheer for the Knights.” Twitter: @tamlynnusa
St. Mary’s Ryken has recently hired Burt John Pumroy as its new athletic director, replacing Joe Wysokinski who manned the position for two years. Wysokinski, who was promoted to Dean of Students, will remain on the football team’s coaching staff. SUBMITTED PHOTO