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Indians New Athletic Director Looking to Grow Community Interest, Enthusiasm
Written by Bradley Schlegel Staff Reporter
2016-11-16

                Community enthusiasm for athletic programs at Upper Perkiomen High School is strong, and Robert Kurzweg III, UP's new athletic director, hopes to harness that enthusiasm to further strengthen the district's sports.

                "It seems like there's a lot of support for our student athletes," he said. "I'm excited to put good programs out there that the community can be proud of."

                For example, Kurzweg said he eventually plans to involve both youth athletes and senior citizens in games.

                During his tenure at as the athletic director at Brandywine Heights in Topton, Kurzweg invited both groups to attend games and interact with the athletes.

                "I would love to do something like that here," he said.

                Kurzweg, who officially started his new job Oct. 31, pointed to the Indians' football team, which posted a 5-6 record and qualified for the District 1 Class 4A playoffs, as a point of community pride.

                "I'm hearing a lot of people talking about what those student athletes accomplished," he said. "What they did requires a lot of hard work."

                In September, the Upper Perkiomen School Board hired Kurzweg, 38, as its lead athletic administrator. He replaces Steve Perlstein, who retired earlier this year.

                School board President John Gehman said he met Kurzweg – one of four finalists for the job – during his travels as a basketball referee.

                "He always had a very good rapport with his students at Brandywine," Gehman said during the Sept. 22 public meeting. "I expect the same thing here."

                Under Kurzweg's leadership, the final score won't be the only priority for teams, coaches and players. He said displaying sportsmanship and learning proper off-field conduct will be equally important.

                "I want the players to learn life lessons, and what being an athlete is all about," he said.

                The department will stress what is best for student athletes, according to the Kurzweg.

                At Brandywine Heights High School, where he served in a similar role for 14 years, he said Berks County coaches always gave the school's teams high marks for sportsmanship.

                "The coaches at Brandywine Heights knew it was a priority," he said.

                A three-sport athlete at Fleetwood High School, Kurzweg described himself as a sports guy. Soon after graduating from Penn State University at the age of 22, he accepted the athletic director position at Brandywine Heights on an interim basis.

                "I was only supposed to be there for six months," Kurzweg said.

                But when his predecessor, Jen Motze took maternity leave and then accepted a similar job at Wyomissing Area Senior High School, Kurzweg's position became permanent.

                "It was a great experience," he said.

                Kurzweg, who served as president of the Berks County Athletic Directors Association for seven years, said the Pioneer Athletic Conference's two-division alignment "seems to make sense to me."


 

 

 

 

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