New W-G Activities Director Matt Eichhorn hits the ground running

Woodward-Granger Activities Director Matt Eichhorn and wife Ashley pose with daughter Emree and son Easton. Eichhorn recently earned certification by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. Photo submitted.

GRANGER — The energy and passion of Matt Eichhorn are apparent to any introduced to him.

Recently hired to serve as the full-time activities director at Woodward-Granger, the effusive Eichhorn said his goals are simple.

“I am in the process of meeting with all of our head coaches and am asking each to prepare a five-year plan we can study and implement,” he remarked. “The idea is simple: take the level each sport is currently at and jump it up a level, or several levels. We want kids to be excited to go out for sports here, and having a winning product will help make it more attractive.”

Eichhorn has spent the past five years as the assistant athletic director at West Des Moines Valley. The W-G position will be his first at the top activities position in a district.

Woodward-Granger’s new full-time activities director, Matt Eichhorn, said he sees “a huge amount of potential” in the district.

“I felt I was ready to make the move, and Woodward-Granger is a great opportunity,” he said. “I knew people already working in the district, and what they had to say about it really intrigued me. It is quite the drop in student body size from Valley to here, but this is a growing district with what I believe is a huge amount of potential, and I am excited to see what we can do.”

Eichhorn said his hiring made W-G and Des Moines Christian the only schools in the West Central Athletic Conference with a full-time activities director who does not also have teaching duties.

“Personally, I think that gives us, and them (DMC) a real advantage,” the new hire stated. “We are here for the kids, period, and being full-time as AD will help me focus my energy in that direction.”

Eichhorn is a native of Tinley Park, Il (in the interest of full disclosure, the athletic director at his high school is an uncle of this writer). He completed his undergraduate studies at Millikin University in Decatur, Il. He received his graduate degree from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Wife Ashley teaches at Valley, and the couple have a daughter, Emree (3-1/2 years) and a son, Easton (3-1/2 months). They will continue to reside in Urbandale.

“I really feel this is a great fit for me and my family I am excited for everything to get going full-speed once the school year starts,” Eichhorn said. “The district already has so much going for it, and I believe even better things are right around the corner.”


  1. I know many people are very excited about this new addition to our school district. Not that I don’t welcome Matt, but I don’t welcome the position. The heart and first priority of any school district is to educate students and prepare them for life after graduation, making learning for all students possible, taking them to the next level of learning, no matter where they are at, and also supporting teachers to be the most effective in the classroom. I have two sons. One recently graduated, and another will be a senior this fall. Both of them participated in a sport every season. I am a strong supporter of the athletics. This isn’t about not being a supporter of athletics. I am so blessed my boys were active, able and thrived being in sports.

    My biggest concern is that if education is a priority before we have an athletic director, then we should hire a full time curriculum director in our school district. Having a curriculum director that benefits all students in K-12 and is more important than an athletic director that only supports grades 7-12 and those in sports.

    Sports in an important part of education for many students. It can help keep students in school. It promotes well being, teamwork, a sense of belonging, promotes self-esteem and the list goes on . . .

    A curriculum director helps promote teachers’ learning how to effectively teach to all students for professional development days. A curriculum director decides the best textbooks and courses needed in our schools and analyzes test scores to see where are our students are reaching proficiency and where they are not. This person reaches all students in the district and all teachers.

    If you have a student who has a hard time catching on to a learning concept, struggles with tests, etc., then a curriculum director is your child’s best advocate.

    If you have a child for whom learning comes easily and who wants and needs to be challenged more, then a curriculum director is your child’s best advocate.

    And if you have a child that is right in the middle, then they still have the right to learn and be challenged, and a curriculum director is your child’s best advocate.

    I do not agree with our administration and our school board who made the decision to hire an athletic director before replacing our curriculum director. We had one, and they cut that position due to budgetary concerns. If we have enough money to hire an athletic director, then the money should have been there to hire a curriculum director.

    The students in WG have a school board to represent them. I am wondering whether the school board is representing ALL students by hiring this position before a curriculum director.

    For me personally, it sends a message that before students’ learning, sports come first. Not a good message to send to parents, students and stakeholders in our community.


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