After three years leading the Phoenix, Ty Stillman is trading his red and blue for red and black.
The Firelands board of education voted Monday to offer Stillman its open athletic director spot. He accepted the job with the Patriot Athletic Conference rival Falcons.
“I enjoyed every minute of my time at Oberlin and will forever be grateful for the opportunity to lead the Phoenix,” he wrote in a prepared statement. “Following the great work of Kennie Searight makes this position ideal for me as I look forward to take Firelands athletics to the next level. The chance to work in this community with all the terrific coaches, athletes, and administration here at Firelands is exciting.”
When he was hired in 2013 as Oberlin athletic director — fresh off three seasons as an Oberlin College running and defensive backs coach and five as a strength and conditioning coordinator for Notre Dame College football — Stillman told us he aimed to take Oberlin sports to a whole new level.
His first tasks were keeping talented athletes from transferring to other schools, generating enthusiasm following a string of disappointing seasons, and using college facilities.
He found results. During Stillman’s tenure, Oberlin boys soccer went to the district finals three times, the Phoenix boys basketball team made a Sweet 16 appearance, and the school sent several state qualifiers to Columbus for track and field.
Off the field, Stillman launched the Phoenix Representing Oberlin program, encouraging both leadership and team-building activities.
He also helped recruit a handful of new Phoenix coaches, purchase new uniforms for several teams, and grow rosters — this past fall, participation in Oberlin sports had grown six percent under Stillman.
A 2000 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, Stillman was a standout defensive back and wide receiver with the Battling Bishops, earning All-North Coast Athletic Conference accolades after his senior season.
He was also the NCAA outdoor track and field champion in the 400 meters in both 1999 and 2000 and was a three time All-American during his two years as a track and field athlete.
He carried over his speed and talents to arena football, where he played for the Louisville Fire in 2002 and the Rochester Brigade in 2003.
Ty Stillman lives in Fairview with his wife Shawna and two children, four-year-old Charlee and three-year-old Caidance. The family is also expecting a third child in July.