Let’s meet our new AD!!
It’s a new year at Apex; with a new year comes new staff. This year we welcome a new athletic director, Coach Weidenburner. Coach Weidenburner comes from Long Island, New York, having graduated from SUNY College. Weidenburner is a huge fan of the outdoors; he enjoys hiking, shelling, and spending time with his family. He also enjoys watching the Yankees, Giants, the Duke Blue Devils, and of course, the Apex Cougars. Before being an athletic director, Coach Weidenburner taught PE and Health at both the middle and high school levels for sixteen years. In addition to teaching, he has coached a myriad of sports including soccer, basketball, football, and multiple others.
This is not Coach Weidenburner’s first job as athletic director for a large school. Before coming to Apex, he was an athletic director at Lufkin Road from 2013 to 2019. Prior to his arrival, he said that “the Lufkin Road athletics facilities were in very poor condition. Their gym had several leaks on the roof and there was always a pool of water in the middle of the gym.” It was so bad that Lufkin wasn’t deemed fit by the North Carolina Department of Education to hold home volleyball or basketball games. After some research and two years of fighting and advocating for Lufkin. Coach Weidenburner was able to secure $250,000 from an old grant to renovate their gym. They were able to get new light installations, a new roof, new flooring, and new bleachers. And on September 2019, Lufkin Road began hosting home volleyball and basketball. He also raised $50,000 to build the first and only school-owned low ropes course in Wake County. Today it’s being used by more than just Lufkin Road students; middle schools from all over the county have hosted trips for their teams to come there and use the low ropes course at Lufkin.
Sadly, he was not able to see the gym renovations fully through as the Athletic Director; in 2019 he became the athletic director at Alston Ridge Middle School, the largest middle school in the state. He built the athletic department from the ground up. When speaking to him in an interview, Coach Weidenburner said the thing he was proudest of while there was that “every coach there he hired also taught at the school.” He also chose the colors for the school as well worked with Under Armor to design the school’s uniform, and choose the school logo. Additionally, he did work outside of the athletic department too. He was on a board of eleven other staff who hired new teachers at the school.
Eventually, Coach Widenburner left Alston Ridge and now joins the Apex High School staff. He comes with some pretty big plans for this year. In my interview with him, he stated that he is “big on tradition” and wants to get all the varsity teams’ uniforms back to Apex’s traditional colors green and gold. This year he also wants to “build the Cougar family more”; he stated that he’s never been in a school with so much student, staff, and community support before, and he wants to continue to build that support. He also said that he wants to give every student a “cutting the net moment”, where they feel proud of themselves and something they did. “I want them to come back twenty or thirty years later and see that state championship trophy, or PR, or baton in our case and be proud that they did that.”
Even though Coach Weidenburner hasn’t been here long, he and the school are looking at new structures and renovations for our teams and stadiums. In my interview with him, just a few of the things he talked about were “renovations to the baseball field, adding shade structures at the tennis courts, building a rebound wall for all the lacrosse teams, larger storage shed for all of our field care equipment, and even somewhere down the line a renovation to our schools’ track.” He also wants to get all the JV teams with our primary colors green and gold as well and work with Adidas to get us nicer jerseys. What he’s very excited about is that he and the athletic board have been testing an outdoor weather and safety system that can warn teams practicing outside very loudly if lightning, thunder, or any non-injury safety risks are in the area.
With a new year comes lots of change, and I think Coach Weidenburner being added to the staff here at Apex is a change that will definitely benefit not only the student-athletes but the whole school as well.