When Dale Fullerton first assumed the Clovis High athletic director's position in 2003, he did so as a former teacher, principal and assistant coach.
Now he's a former superintendent, too, and he's assuming the AD spot again for the Wildcats.
Fullerton, 62, was announced Friday to the position, vacant since May when Brian Stacy resigned as a result of a student disciplinary issue.
"I felt like I could come back and make a contribution to the district," said Fullerton. "It's a great district to work in. The job opened up and I felt like it would be a good fit right now."
The 1968 Portales High graduate was selected from a field of four finalists and nine total applicants. In addition to Fullerton, Kenny Eudy of Dimmitt, Gary Thompson of Newcomb and Curt Cook of Kearny, Ariz. interviewed. Other applicants were Moses Bibbs, Darren Kelley, Gail Massello, Krystal Morrow and Kimberly Wyman.
Clovis Municipal Schools Superintendent Terry Myers said the four finalists had very strong credentials, and he was very pleased with the process that gave Fullerton as the outcome. The district advertised the job in June, but Myers said only two of the 16 applicants met the job qualifications and he decided to leave the position vacant for a semester.
"I'm very, very pleased we got a highly-qualified adminstrator," Myers said, noting Fullerton's time as a coach, teacher, principal and superintendent, not to mention that he served in most of those positions within the Clovis school system.
Fullerton was an assistant coach for the last state boys basketball title winner in 1979, coached baseball for five years and served in the secondary coach and defensive coordinator position for eight of coach Eric Roanhaus' 10 state champion football teams — 1978, the 1981-85 "five-peat," 1990 and 2001 — before taking over as athletic director.
Following more than 30 years of employment in the district, Fullerton left Clovis between semesters in the 2005-06 academic year to take the open principal job at Bovina High School, and assumed athletic director duties there that March. He was promoted to superintendent in 2010.
"It gave me a chance to work with a little larger budget (as superintendent at Bovina) than I was working with as an athletic director," Fullerton said. "It was a good experience."
But his heart was always in Clovis, as was his residence.
"I had a really great experience in Bovina," Fullerton said. "I was able to do other things, and be the superintendent for a year. It was a good time to make a change. Driving back and forth every day, that starts to wear on you after a few years."
Myers said Fullerton will work on a probationary contract for the first year, then be offered a standard aministrative two-year contract if his performance is satisfactory. The first duty will be a full evaluation of the 5A school's athletics — 11 varsity sports, seven with separate girls and boys teams, and a co-ed spirit squad — though Myers said Fullerton won't get the benefit of seeing the fall sports.
Fullerton's salary has not been finalized, with Myers estimating the position having a $75,000-$80,000 annual salary range. Additionally, Fullerton believes he can serve another five to seven years, and is still looking at whether he wants to unretire and have the time count toward his total service to the district, or continue to receive retirement while serving as athletic director again.