SHERIDAN — Don Julian will fully return to his athletics director position at Sheridan High School next month after a one-year hiatus. But unlike in years past, Julian won’t hold a full-time coaching position in the fall.
With some time at his disposal during the summer, Julian searched for a niche and he hopes to have found one. He’s set to lead a clinic for anyone who wants to accumulate knowledge on how to become a better leader.
“I want to keep trying to influence and mentor,” Julian said. “I can do that in this school, but I’m trying to open that up into a broader spectrum.”
Julian’s leadership clinic will aim to help individuals gain culture, courage and purpose. His two-day class will have five main pillars — giving one a vision, finding one’s purpose, how to handle adversity, confidence issues and how to organize a leadership retreat.
All five pillars are all areas in which Julian has quite a bit of experience in and much of that comes from his football-coaching background. And while coaches are encouraged to sign up for the leadership clinic, Julian wants to cast a larger net, inviting anyone wanting to grow as leader to sign up.
“I have experience, but this is the first time I’ve tried to put it in a specific workshop- or leadership-type clinic,” Julian said. “… I think when people see my name on something and they think, ‘Well, this a coaching clinic.’ It’s leadership clinic. We’ve tried to share it with businesses around the community and also with coaches and education leaders around the state.”
The first session has an eclectic mix of both women and men from different walks of life. A couple bankers, teachers and business leaders have signed up along with a couple people from outside of Sheridan County.
Matt McFadden — the head football coach at Cody High School — received the email notification about the clinic from his AD and had zero hesitation.
“So I’m the head football coach, but I’m also a teacher and a father and a husband,” McFadden said. “I think what we are really trying to instill as teachers — whether it’s football or various subjects — is leadership traits. … So that’s what I hope to achieve to become a better leader in every facet of my life — father, husband, teacher and coach.”
The first two-day clinic will run from 1-5 p.m. June 20 and 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on June 21. The $129 registration fee will include refreshments and breakfast on the second day.
The second clinic will run Aug. 2-3. Julian doesn’t yet know if this leadership clinic will become an annual occurrence and how it could change in the coming years. While he chose five pillars, there’s many more he could have chosen to focus on and could do so if he decides to head up future clinics.
In any event, Julian is excited for the challenge and looks forward to stepping out of his comfort zone a little bit.
“I think it will be very challenging,” Julian said. “I think part of being a great leader is being courageous, putting yourself out there and taking some risks. … I’m used to working with coaches and kids. I’m very comfortable standing in front of 1,000 young people and getting after it. I’m excited about this clinic, but I’m nervous about this because it’s going to be a new one for me.”