New on the Block: Mueller takes reins as LSA Athletic Director
IN LIFE, SOMETIMES THERE ARE THOSE OPPORTUNITIES THAT YOU JUST CAN' T PASS UP.
For Jon Mueller, that call came back in the spring when his former college baseball coach Rob Psencik told him that he was leaving Lutheran South Academy, which left the Pioneers' athletic director chair open.
With Mueller's wife Jamie from Houston – where she attended Lutheran North High School – and them making twice-a-year trips to the Bayou City anyways to see family, it ended up being the perfect fit.
"I thought it was a great opportunity," Mueller said. "One of the things that stuck out to me when I came and visited was the amount of faculty members that are on the coaching staff. It really looked like a great team atmosphere as far as the cooperation between teachers, coaches and administrators."
Jamie works at Lutheran South Academy helping with before and after school child care, while their son Jared is in the fourth grade and is attending LSA.
Taking the athletic director job at LSA is Mueller's third of his career.
His first AD job came in New Orleans at a Lutheran High School and then for the last eight years was at Lutheran North in St. Louis, Missouri. Along with his athletic director duties at Lutheran North he also coached football and baseball. But at LSA he enters solely as the athletic director.
As we sat with Mueller on the edge of a green bleacher inside the LSA gymnasium with music blaring as background for the VYPE Fall Media Day, it had been roughly three weeks he had been on the ground in H-Town.
"It's been very exciting. There's a lot of traffic and it has been hot, but other than that, everything's been great," he said about the start.
As he enters the 2021- 2022 seasons as the LSA athletic director, Mueller will take lessons of "adapting on the fly" from a COVID-riddled last 18 months but more than anything is just ready to keep things moving forward.
"I want to come in here and carry on the tradition that's been here and continue the excellence that was achieved under Coach Psencik and his time as AD," Mueller said.
This summer, 150 stadium seats were added to the football stadium along with a brand-new video board in the end zone, which will be completed this fall.
Of course, winning on the field is important to Mueller, which they will strive to do at LSA, but it is more than just about the "short-term success".
"We want to see our kids go on to college and be successful," Mueller said. "We want to have successful teams, whether that is District Champions or State Champions. And we also want to be on the cutting edge with what we are doing facility-wise as well.
"I think a lot of coaches get caught up in the short-term success but for me it was always seeing those kids go off and when they come back five or 10 years later seeing that they've become successful members of society. Seeing them be great husbands and employees. That's really where the reward came for me."