ROSWELL, Ga. — Ben Sutter has been with Roswell High School for 15 years and will take on a new role in the 2019-20 season when he becomes athletic director. Sutter joined Roswell as a paraprofessional before serving as the special education department head for nine years. He is also the head varsity baseball coach.
Sutter had ambitions to serve as an athletic director and jumped at the opportunity when Clinton Lawrence, who served as AD the past two years, stepped down for a position as assistant principal in Gwinnett County.
“I did have aspirations to be an athletic director, but you never know where that is going to fall in your career,” Sutter said. “I saw myself as an AD down the road, but when Clinton left and the job opened up, I saw it as an opportunity to accomplish something I wanted to do. You never know when that job is going to open up, and when it’s at Roswell, that’s a no-brainer.”
Sutter said he is excited and nervous about his new role and transitioning to an athletics-only position. He believes his experience with the school and as a coach will prove beneficial.
“I think anyone takes over a new role there is a learning curve,” he said. “But the advantage for me is I’m not starting as an outsider. I’ve been working alongside our coaches, so I know what makes certain coaches tick and understand their needs. I think my relationships have helped a lot already.”
A critical aspect for Sutter in his new role is maintaining Roswell’s coaching staff and assist them where he can. He credited former athletic directors John Coen and Clinton Lawrence for bringing “top-notch” coaches to the school, and said it is now his job to keep that staff in place.
Though Sutter’s coaching background has centered on baseball, the new athletic director wants to shine a light on all of Roswell’s athletics.
“I want to celebrate all the sports here at Roswell,” he said. “We have lots of great teams. I’m also excited to be involved in all sports. In coaching baseball, you kind of lose sight of some of the other programs we have. I am looking forward to being a part of all the dramatic moments, the celebrations and being able to sit down with a coach and say, ‘I know what you’re feeling.’”
A particular focus Sutter will have as athletic director is what he calls bridging the gap between the school and Roswell residents.
“Roswell is a unique community, and the name of that community is on the school,” he said. “I’ve always found that fascinating. I want them to come out and watch our teams compete, and I want our teams to give back to the community.”
Sutter will continue as baseball head coach in the upcoming season. After talks with Roswell principal Robert Shaw and Fulton County Athletic Director Steven Craft, the decision was made to keep him as the head coach until a suitable replacement can be found, Sutter said.