Retiring Conway High athletic director Steve Daniels will give his successor, Clint Ashcraft, the same key piece of advice Buzz Bolding gave him when he took over the job eight years ago.

"You better have a key around to open doors," said Daniels. "There is always a room to open or close and you don't want to have to find the person who has the key."

Daniels was an assistant football and track coach when he assumed the reins of the CHS athletic program. He knows the challenges Ashcraft will face when he takes over the responsibility on July 1.

"One of the toughest parts of the job is managing time," Daniels said. "You're on the road a lot and away from your family.

"We have great facilities and you want to give exposure to your community and school by hosting AAA events, but most people have no idea how many moving parts there are to putting on an event. You also need a lot of volunteers and our community has always responded.

"You're always trying to raise money. When you are a football coach, you are focused one sport. As an AD, suddenly there are 14 and every sport needs exactly the same diligence and work. They all are important."

Then, there's scheduling — particularly in the late winter and early spring, which can be a major headache because of weather.

Weather annual plays havoc with the established schedules, which are often just suggestions. A string of postponements can create a tricky web of navigating in completing conference games before state deadlines with hurdles of testing schedules, proms and graduation.

"Spring sports are the toughest part of all that," he said. "Spring is crazy. You gotta be flexible and ready to make quick decisions. But you also have to slow down a bit because of safety concerns. You have to make quick decisions but good decisions."

In the final months as AD, Daniels has put aside some longtime decisions — concerning contracts etc.

"I'm not turning over the keys just yet, but I don't want to make a decision that might affect the next person," Daniels said. "It's only right that certain decisions should be left to Clint when he takes over."

The Conway job is certainly one of the best in state. All sports are strong and vibrant. Tweaking is needed much more than fixing.

Another asset is assistant AD Janet Taylor and administrative assistant Beth Fluesmeier are highly organized and proficient and can take on a large share of the load, which they have for years.

"Clint will do a great job," Daniels said. "He is smart. He is very organized, he has been around athletics and he cares about the athletes."

Sports editor David McCollum can be reached at or @dmaclcd on Twitter