The City of Wauseon has a new recreation superintendent, and he hopes to eventually expand both the children’s and adult programs.
Nel Rodriguez began his duties Aug. 16 at approximately $43,500 annually. He replaces Aaron Tiplady, who left the position May 30 for employment in northeast Ohio.
The 41-year-old Archbold native is tasked with operating all city Recreation Department programs, selecting coaches, umpires and referees for city-sponsored sports teams, organizing sports tournaments, and handling concessions in Dorothy B. Biddle Park. He also manages the park’s maintenance.
He’s given assistance by Chris Oyers, an interim assistant, and and three park maintenance employees.
Currently, Rodriguez oversees over 100 sports teams annually in their programs, saying, “Whatever you can think of we most likely offer. It gets busy, but we’ve got good parent involvement in these programs. Of course, without them we couldn’t run them all. Every parent I’ve come in contact with has been real supportive.”
Rodriguez attended Bowling Green State University, then transferred to Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
He served for eight years as the athletic director of Advantage Academy in Waxahatchie, Texas, where he also taught computer, physical education, health, and math classes.
His new position is his first as a recreation superintendent, and Rodriguez said his past experience will aid the transition.
“I’m looking to keep all the programs that we have, and to possibly add a few more as interest shows. I’ve got some ideas,” he said.
They include expanding the adult recreation program of karate and softball to include volleyball and basketball, possibly by the next sports season. The programs would be advertised on the department’s website and through word-of-mouth.
“Sometimes, you get the parents involved in sports, and it piques the kids’ interests,” Rodriguez said.
He would also like to introduce youth volleyball. He said part of his job will be to look at what other communities have that Wauseon doesn’t and try to adapt them into the city program.
Ultimately, Rodriguez wants a structured and well-devised city recreation program that sparks an interest in community members to volunteer.
“I like to see the community really come out to support not only their kids but the kids from the different teams,” he said.
Wauseon Public Service Director Dennis Richardson said Rodriguez was chosen for his experience, both as an athletic director and managing youth programs, and for his passion for sports and helping children in general.
“I think he’s going to be a super asset to the city. I’m looking forward to what he can do,” Richardson said.
The focus now is to become acclimated to the new position, but Rodriguez said he looks forward to the challenges ahead.
“I’m excited to get going, and to continue to meet the parents and coaches and different people in the community,” he said. “It’s really good to be home.”
David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.