Running the show

Athletic director and cross country coach Jay Getty is always on the move


photo by Alexis Madlang

Coach Jay Getty prepares his team for practice. Among one of the many jobs Getty has is the head coach for the Cross Country team.

Athletic director Jay Getty starts his day around 4 a.m. By 5 a.m., sports updates are posted on Twitter and email announcements are sent, and by 5:35 his morning run is completed. By 6:20 a.m. he pulls into the school parking lot. 

Getty is the athletic director and coach for the cross country and track team, but his responsibilities expand far beyond that. Among them, he coordinates the assistants program, event planning and support, COVID-19 issues, bus ramp supervision, lunch supervision and school-based community relations. 

With the number of jobs Getty has, it was important for him to understand how to manage his time. Getty’s handle on time-management began at a young age, and with his mom who worked in the athletic office.

“As a youth, I was surrounded by coaches and administrators, including my mother, who was an athletic secretary,” Getty said. “If there was a spare minute, we were working on setting up an event or planning for the next one.  I have always thought that this was normal.” 

With the early influences of being around coaches along with being a student athlete, Getty’s childhood fostered his overall love for athletics and running, which now helps him excel as track and cross country coach.

“Each day I am blessed with staying involved in the sport that I love the most,” Getty said.

Getty began running when he was in sixth grade, and when he entered high school he became a varsity runner for the school team. From high school Getty ran for Mt. Union college and UCF, and despite all the work he has now has managed to maintain his running streak.

“Running and outdoor time is a must,” Getty said. “My consecutive day running streak is at 4,636 as of Sept. 6.”

After college, Getty started volunteering with the Oviedo High School cross country team until he was hired in 1991 as a coach. Getty then continued to work with Oviedo until Hagerty High School opened in 2005. Throughout Getty’s coaching career he has done a lot, from coaching Olympian Jenny Simpson to saving a spectator’s life at a meet.

“In November of 2017, while at a cross country preview day at Lake Nona High School, I was fortunate enough to provide CPR to a fallen Lake Mary parent,” Getty said. “That parent survived and I gained a new friend for lifetime.” 

One of the main jobs Getty does within the school is athletic director. Getty makes sure athletes are eligible to participate in sports, he coordinates buses and referees, and he records team wins and losses, among many other things.

Organizational habits are key with the amount of responsibilities Getty has. Some key factors that allow Getty to stay organized are working before he gets to campus, always using some type of planner and getting the help of other staff. However, destressing is also key to Getty’s success.

“[My advice to students feeling overwhelmed is to] find time to unplug and disassociate from the grind,” Getty said.

 Getty tries to make time to regain motivation by going on daily runs to regain “sanity” and going down to the dock to listen to the frogs. 

“Listening to the frog is extremely calming,” Getty said. “No matter the crazy in the world, the frog serenade is always present.”  

Despite all the responsibilities and the bad days, he loves what he does and hopes to share the happiness he has from athletics with students now. In the end, no matter what the day throws at him Getty has three important ways to be a successful coach and athletic director.

“Get ahead of the day,” Getty said. “Work while others are resting, get things done before arriving on campus, and have fun!”