EVART — When Howard Hyde first came to Evart for the 1988-89 season, the district sustained financial problems to the point where they cancelled athletics for a year.

Hyde is now back in the role as athletic director but this time it’s out of necessity because of financial cutbacks. But 23 years later, Hyde also has the role of district superintendent.

Financial cutbacks forced the school to cut the athletic director’s position recently. Randy Kruse had handled the position but is no longer with the district.

Hyde, who graduated from Pine River High school in 1976, has been in Evart since August 1988, two months after his Hartford baseball team won the Class C baseball title in an 11-10 thriller at Michigan State University over Morley Stanwood. He started as assistant principal/athletic director.

The sports program was cut for a year a week after Hyde came to Evart. He later was Evart High School principal and has been superintendent since January 1998.

Since he’s been at Evart, Hyde has coached eighth grade and freshman basketball and has also helped with the baseball program. He also helped with volleyball.

“As I became superintendent, I ran out of time,” he said.

Hyde, for the 2011-12 budget, had some monies set aside for someone to handle the AD duties.

“But it’s just not going to happen,” he said. “At this point, unless someone steps up, it’s going to be me. I was going to try to get somebody in there part-time. Looking at the budget and the total scheme of things, it just wasn’t going to work. So I’ll attempt to do this for a year. It’s going to require a lot of help from athletes, parents and coaches. I did this job many years ago but it has also changed.”

The changes are something Hyde acknowledged that he will gradually need to start picking up.

“I’ve got to get back into doing the contracts between the schools, doing the contracts with the referees and knowing the associations again,” Hyde said. “Thankfully, Randy has most of the fall and winter schedules done. I don’t know where we are with referees yet. When I get a spare moment, that’s something I’ll be looking into.”

Hiring game workers will also be a challenge, Hyde indicated.

“Ticket takers, who’s announcing, who’s doing scorebook and things like that,” Hyde noted. “I’m hoping I can hire someone to run the track meets. I’ve got a list going up of concerns and needs I’m trying to refresh myself with. My list is getting longer and longer. My secretary in this office will now be the AD’s secretary too.”

Hyde indicated that he’ll get assistance from high school principal Al Kullman.

“I decided at the board meeting as I presented the budget that here’s some money we could save,” Hyde said. “At least for a year, I, if I can get some help, I will do it.”

He will also be athletic director at the middle school.

The duty of filling coaching spots was usually a united effort between the AD and other administrators.

“It depended on what level it was at,” Hyde said. “With varsity sports, we’ll probably all be involved.”

Hyde and Kullman will likely be the ones determining who will be coaching.

“Hopefully most of the people will be coming back,” Hyde said. “I haven’t had time yet to get with some of them.”

Hyde will look to Michigan High School Athletic Association assistance as he settles into AD duties.

“Usually every year they offer a beginning AD one-day workshop. That’s probably something I’ll go to retrain myself. I’ll count on other ADs in the league and in the area,” Hyde said.

Looking ahead, Hyde is hoping there will be enough money to have someone handle the AD duties in some capacity.

“Right now to get through the 2011-12 school year, at this point it will be me unless someone jumps up and says, I’ll do it for free,” Hyde said. “But I doubt it.”

Kruse had been in the position for 12 years.