Jim Threadgill
After 36 years as a coach, teacher, administrator and Glendale Union High School Athletic Director, Jim Threadgill attended his last GUHSD board meeting May 18, before his June 1 retirement.

Glendale Union High School District Athletic Director Jim Threadgill will always be remembered for his laugh and helping teachers and administrators. However, his official retirement date is June 30, but Threadgill had some personal time coming.

Threadgill said while others have influenced his 36-year career as a coach, teacher and administrator, it was the students who came first, last and always.

"I really don't have any major projects that I felt we didn't address," Threadgill said. "(However) what could we have done to influence the lives of more kids? When we have a kid drop out of school or struggling with school, what could we have done differently?

"Working with the kids helped and that was the biggest thing and helping them to be successful and watching them grow. I was always impressed with a 13-14-year-old kid scared of the world, and after watching them graduate and take on the world with the ability to vote and have aspirations for college; it's a wonderful thing to be part of. For me, it was the perfect profession, and I never considered it a job and always fun."

Threadgill began his career teaching business and physical education and coached football and wrestling at Glendale, when the opportunity arose, he went into administration at Apollo and Moon Valley high schools, before returning as an assistant principal and principal at Apollo.

"Being principal at Apollo was such a great honor," Threadgill said. "It was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my career. "All of my children attended and played sports at Apollo. My sons, Zack and Steve, both teach and coach at Apollo, and that is personally very gratifying."

"I know that I would not have achieved any level of success without the love and support of my family, my four wonderful kids, two daughters in-law, two grandkids, and especially, my wife, Janet."

Threadgill's oldest son is Jim, 32, and his wife, Karen with their son, Nolan. His second son is Zack, 31, followed by Steve, 28, his wife, Cindy, and daughter, Kalli, and Threadgill's daughter, Kelsea, 21. Threadgill and his wife, Janet, have been married for 38 years.

He said he and his wife are looking forward to spending time with them.

"Plus, there are a few places that we would like to travel," Threadgill said. "Somehow, we never had the time, but now we will."

Accomplishing several things has been something to be proud of. In Threadgill's case, he was happy to be the guy to help out when needed.

"I had a little taste of everything (as teacher, coach and administrator)" he said. "I was fortunate to serve in a variety of areas and enjoyed them all. When you teach and coach for 35 years and you're an administrator, people think you have the summers off. (In the summer), we're doing facility upgrades when the campuses are empty, when you service air conditioning and electrical needs.

"There wasn't a day I regretted getting up and coming to work," he said. "I loved it and I was fortunate to get into a profession that was so rewarding. I have truly enjoyed my educational career.

Like most administrators who remember their most influential person, Threadgill said there were "20 or more," but he tried to limit it to four.

"Bruce Heatwole (Glendale principal) hired me and had a major influence on my life," Threadgill said. "Vern Jacobs and Tom Hernandez were Glendale coaches and were very close and we still are.

"Bob Sterrett, God rest his soul, the former GUHSD district athletic director, helped me out, and I could go on. There were numerous others people who helped me along the way.

He credited administrative assistants Joie Eddings (Apollo), Debbie LeClair (Cortez High School) and Robbin Schroeder (GUHSD office) for making his life easier.

"It has been my honor and privilege to work with the outstanding athletic directors and coaches from all of our nine district high schools," he said. "These men and women truly care about the growth and character of our students. Their work ethic, time, and commitment is unsurpassed.

"I will miss all of the day-to-day challenges and decision-making opportunities that present themselves," Threadgill said. "But most of all, I will miss the people."

Reach the reporter at gwitkowski@star-times.com, or 623-847-4611.