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Fort Defiance's Mark Mace stepping away as school's athletic director

The News Leader (Staunton) logo The News Leader (Staunton) 4/28/2020 Patrick Hite, Staunton News Leader
a man sitting at a desk in front of a computer: Mark Mace, Fort Defiance's athletic director, is excited about his school's move into the Shenandoah District. © Ken Bosserman/The News Leader Mark Mace, Fort Defiance's athletic director, is excited about his school's move into the Shenandoah District.

FORT DEFIANCE - After seven years as Fort Defiance's athletic director, Mark Mace is transitioning into another role at the school. He will be an assistant principal, shifting his focus more toward academics than athletics.

A former special education teacher and coach, Mace spent a majority of his educational career focusing mostly on academics. He'll be able to do that again, but said he'll still be attending some games as a school administrator, so he won't be completely away from sports. 

"I'm excited to be getting back to kind of a balance of where I was," Mace said. 

Fort Defiance will also have a change at principal with Larry Landes retiring. Alan Shull will be the new principal next year.

"I've thought a lot about this and done a lot of soul-searching," Mace said. "The big thing I'm going to miss is being part of a team to make the decisions for the Virginia High School League ... I'm going to miss a lot of the Virginia High School League stuff."

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As an athletic director, Mace was part of the VHSL's decision-making process, including being a member of the all-state committee. 

During his time at Fort, Mace said the thing he's enjoyed the most is being part of the Fort Defiance community.

"We have a very special community here at Fort Defiance," Mace said. "And we have a long tradition. I'm most proud of just being a member of that, being seen as a family member of the Indian way."

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Before Fort Defiance, Mace was the head baseball coach at Eastern Mennonite University, a position he held for six years and stepped away from in 2011 as he worked on his master's degree.

He's also spent time at Harrisonburg High School, Monticello High School, Parry McCluer High School, Rockbridge County High School and Lexington High School. 

A new athletic director will be named soon, Mace said, although the interview process hasn't begun yet. His job was just posted the week of April 20.

Fort Defiance isn't the only area school that will have a new athletic director. Waynesboro's Derek McDaniel will retire after this year, as will Rockbridge County's Rick Lollis. Neither school has named the new AD yet. 

Follow Patrick on Twitter @Patrick_Hite

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This article originally appeared on Staunton News Leader: Fort Defiance's Mark Mace stepping away as school's athletic director

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