There's no place like home for Wiregrass AD

Published May 22, 2007

WESLEY CHAPEL - Just a year into the job, Doug Elias has resigned as Wiregrass Ranch athletic director.

It wasn't that Elias was unhappy. He enjoyed the opportunity to help mold the athletic program during its first year.

Family ultimately became more important.

Elias and his wife, Staci, wanted to be closer to family, feeling 3-year-old daughter Maggie was missing out. So they are headed back to Kansas where Doug accepted an assistant athletic director job at Concordia High. Staci will coach volleyball at Cloud County Community College.

"Maggie needs to grow up closer to her family, " Elias said. "We wanted to give her an opportunity."

The Elias family decided to move home a few months ago after extended family members had to miss out on Maggie's third birthday party, mostly because of travel problems caused by snow.

Elias believes his experience at Wiregrass will help him with his new post.

"It was a great experience because you got to do everything for the first time, " Elias said of the first-year school. "I've been blessed to have great coaches and faculty and staff and administration."

Wiregrass principal Ray Bonti said he will post an advertisement this week and hopes to fill the vacancy by mid June.

"We hate to lose Doug, " Bonti said. "He's done a great job his first year."

Izzy Gould can be reached at igould@tampabay.com or (727) 580-5315.