Daniel Minkin takes reins of athletic program for Iron Horses
The answer might be “What’s that?” if you have been just named athletic director at a fairly new high school that is continuing to expand every day, in every way.
That was Daniel Minkin’s scenario as he started his new job as athletic director of Philip Simmons High School on July 1. The Long Island native will oversee an athletic program that already has sampled success. Now, he’s ready to guide the program to its next step, adding teams as the interest in a particular sport grows at the school.
“I’m very excited,” said the 33-year-old Minkin, who played lacrosse at Limestone College and graduated from the school in 2008. “We’re in only our third year, and there’s still a lot of ‘firsts’ that we will experience. We’ll have our first graduating class, and I will get to see a lot of other firsts in my new job, including first (national) signing day. I am happy for the opportunity to be part of it.”
One of Minkin’s biggest items on his “to-do” list is to start a girls’ lacrosse program with a junior varsity team ready to play in the spring of 2020. Minkin has the experience of starting new LAX programs. He did that in his first job at Spartanburg High School and again at Boiling Springs.
“In between, my wife (Megan) and I had two kids, Ansley and Welles. We moved to be closer to our family and I took a job at Waccamaw.”
Minkin said it can be a challenge when you are in charge of starting a new team.
“It’s tough, but exciting,” he said. “You get to start from the very beginning: order the equipment, pick the design of the jersey -- stuff like that.”
Minkin will start a search for a head coach and a staff. He wants to get this accomplished so the new coach can have a role in building the foundation.
“Then, we get them to start recruiting the hallways,” Minkin said.
Minkin was assistant athletic director at Boiling Springs High and was the co-athletic director at Waccamaw High from 2016 until he was hired at Philip Simmons.
In 2010 he was the state coach of the year at Spartanburg.
Minkin has experience in the classroom as well, and is focused on the total development of today’s student.
“I want to do everything I can to support them and give them the best chance I can for them to succeed in anything they do – athletically or academically,” he said. “That’s why we get into education, to help children and help them become better people as they get older.”
Minkin has the support of PSHS principal Anthony Dixon, who noted Minkin’s background in lacrosse.
“Our intentions are to have a junior varsity girls’ team in the spring, and then we will see where it goes from there,” Dixon said.
Minkin says a boys’ team could be added in time for the 2020-21 academic year.
Minkin is aware of the growing pains a new school can experience. He also is aware of the Iron Horses’ success.
“We already have a state championship team in tennis,” Minkin said. “And, I know we have had success in track and field. We will have success in all sports.”