Buena Athletic director resigns during first quarter, Derek Rusk selected for role


Madeline Marshall

Buena athletics office.

Madeline Marshall, Editor-in-Chief

Former Buena Athletic Director Shaun Strople resigned from his position before the end of the first quarter of the 2022 school year. Following his resignation, he will swap with Math teacher Derek Rusk officially Monday Oct. 31.

“I was not expecting a change, but as a principal you can always expect change,” Asplund said.

Strople took on the role for three and a half years. Prior to his position as athletic director, Strople spent about 20 years coaching, 12 years teaching at Buena, and five years teaching at South Torrance High School.

“He loves Buena High School and loves Buena High School athletics,” Asplund said.

The sudden resignation prompted questions as to “why” and “why now”, but Strople hadn’t thought too long about his decision to resign, but due to several significant events in his personal life he decided to make a change.

I am in a season of life where it is essential for me to spend that time investing in my family

— Shaun Strople

“I am in a season of life where it is essential for me to spend that time investing in my family,” Strople said in an email interview . “Supporting them at each of their events and being present for them when I am at home.  I am very excited to sit in the stands and cheer them on in whatever they choose to do.”

The challenge following his resignation was deciding who would take Strople’s position on short notice and in the middle of the school year. Derek Rusk applied for the position having been athletic director and a coach himself for six years at Canyon High School in Santa Clarita.

“The other people who initially expressed interest decided that they were notgoing to move forward for different reasons and so it worked out that there was one person left,” Asplund said regarding Rusk’s hire.

In his three years at Buena, Rusk taught math, but issues in the classroom vary much more from that of an athletic director’s perspective.

“As the athletic director, you want to be as supportive of the coaches as you can,” Rusk said. “So I meet with the coaches before the season and talk about what their coaching philosophy is, how they plan on dealing with conflict so if that should arise, I already know what their plan is.”

Rusk’s position is currently temporary. At the end of the year the position will be up again, however Rusk does plan to apply for a permanent position. 

“I generally welcome change and I feel optimistic about the future of Buena athletics with Mr. Rusk,” Asplund said.