With the retirement of longtime Covington High School coach Darryl Graham, the school’s administration decided to stay within the Lions family to find his replacement.

Donald Mathies was named as the new athletic director at Covington and will replace Graham, who is set to retire at the end of the school year.

“Coach Graham had hinted that he could be retiring at the end of this school year,” Mathies said. “I interviewed for the position once it became available and was named as his replacement.”

The position of athletic director on the prep level is unlike the collegiate level. Mathies’ job responsibilities will be mostly behind the scenes.

“I’m very involved with the sports here at Covington already,” he said. “I’ve coached football, basketball and am currently an assistant coach on the baseball team. I graduated from here. I’ve been a Lion since 1979.”

Mathies said he’s OK with spending less time on the sideline.

“It’s going to be a lot of paperwork on my end,” he said. “I’m not somebody who wants their name in the spotlight. That is not me. I’m a behind-the-scenes guy. I’m going to be making sure that the coaches are doing what they are supposed to be doing, and if they need something it is on me to try and find a way to get it for them. I want clean facilities and will be in charge of the upkeep of the facilities as well.”

Covington football coach Greg Salter said he is looking forward to continue to work with the man who gave him his start coaching.

“When I was 19 years old and in college (Mathies) gave me my first start at Fontainebleau Junior High, where he was the head coach,” Salter said. “We have worked together for a long time. He is a former Lion and played for my grandfather (former Covington coach Jack Salter) on the 1976 Class 4A state championship team.

“He is imbedded in the traditions of, not only Covington High football, but Covington High itself.”

Mathies will remain on the baseball coaching staff once he assumes his athletic director duties starting next school year.