BROOMFIELD -- There is a soft spot in Steve Shelton's heart for the Boulder Valley School District.
It was where the longtime administrator cut his teeth in teaching and coaching a decade ago. It was also where he found the inspiration to follow his calling as an athletic director early in his career.
In turn, when the opportunity to go back to his roots appeared with the athletic director opening at Broomfield High School, Shelton knew he had to jump.
"The district was the first place I got a job when my wife and I moved from Michigan, I've always considered it home," he said. "It just seemed like an opportunity to become a part of a great community again."
Broomfield announced Shelton would head the highly successful athletic department Tuesday, concluding what has been a fast turnaround in filling the position. The BVSD posted the job June 10 and concluded interviews June 27 at both the school and district levels. While the competition was fierce to fill the position that opened due to district reshuffling last autumn, Shelton had some obvious assets that caught the interviewers' eyes.
Broomfield principal Ginger Ramsey was impressed right off the bat with his knowledge of the inner workings of athletics and athletic departments. Much of this has been honed in Shelton from stints as the athletic director at Brighton, Prairie View, and, most recently, Heritage. More than his practical background, however, Ramsey was wowed with Shelton's ability to build meaningful relationships with all parties.
"His support for people is what really attracted him to me," Ramsey said. "He wants to do what he can to make this a successful community and watching him Tuesday interact with some of our coaches only reinforced that we had made the right decision."
Shelton is somewhat a break from recent hires for the position at Broomfield. The past four and perhaps even five athletic directors at the high school have been direct hires from within the district.
"I didn't realize that until it was just brought up," Ramsey said. "But that factor wasn't even a consideration. We were just looking for the best person to fill the position and help our programs."
Shelton should have a smooth transition into his new position with no major projects or initiatives on the horizon. But this does not mean that it is all clear sailing; he foresees his share of challenges. The most pressing from the administrator's perspective goes back to one of his favorite concepts -- community.
"Certainly I'll need to come in and lead the department," he said. "But it will also be a matter of building unique relationships with the community and our veteran coaches to figure out what they might need."
Shelton makes no bones about being a people person, but the athletic director believes he also has proven he has the chops to tackle major projects. One point of pride for Shelton has been how he was able to lead the reinstatement of hockey at Heritage more than 20 years after the program had been disbanded.
"The school actually had a title in 1980," he said. "So I was really pleased to help give the community a first-class program they can be proud of."
Shelton's career in the BVSD began as a math teacher at Boulder's Platte Middle School in 1999. From there he moved on to teach at Centaurus before taking his first administrator job with Brighton in 2002. While in the BVSD he coached various middle school sports, but was best known as Fairview's junior varsity soccer coach. Leaving the coaching aspect of athletics was difficult, but it was a move Shelton believes allotted more opportunities.
"Athletic director allows you to interact with more people and hopefully have a greater impact," he said. "Hopefully that is what I've done and can continue to do."
Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.