By S. Quinn DeJoy and J. Murrer
Sep. 16, 2020: It is a big challenge to start any new job, but for Joe Haven, Bronxville’s new athletic director, there are hurdles that none of us could have imagined. Haven, who replaces Karen Peterson, comes to the job with lots of experience, including having spent many years as a teacher, a coach, and most recently as an athletic director. He has been in contact with Peterson all summer, discussing the reopening of school and school athletics.
“I am very excited about my new position and humbled that Bronxville is giving me the opportunity,” said Haven. “I hope I can follow in Karen’s footsteps. She is very well known and has done great work. We will do our best to have our kids participate safely in athletics.”
Haven coached football and lacrosse at North Cicero High School, his alma mater, before becoming the athletic director at Chittenango Central School District. He worked at Chittenango for twelve years before becoming the AD at Mount Markham Central School District for the past two years. Haven has plenty of experience dealing with New York State high school athletics and was President of Section 3, which includes over 100 schools.
With his level of experience, he is ready for all the challenges and possible scenarios that might happen this fall because of the pandemic. Haven and Peterson, who worked together at the state level for many years, worked together for the full month of August, and Haven believes it helped for a smooth transition.
He is excited about his new role at the Bronxville School and is looking forward to working with the students and the coaches.
“I enjoy going to practices and talking to athletes and coaches,” said Haven. “I think the kids really appreciate it when you stop by, and it lets the coaches know that I am involved and interested and will support them any way I can.”
As a former art teacher, Joe embraces the idea of educating the whole child and was impressed that Bronxville has such a high participation rate in both athletics and visual and performing arts. He was also impressed that Bronxville has many long-term coaches and believes the coaching staff is one of the reasons that Bronxville athletics are top in the state.
“When you see an outsider’s view of it,” said Haven, “you can see the schools that tend to do better are schools that have long-term coaches.”
He will be facing some unusual circumstances this fall, as the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in an ever-changing plan for statewide athletics.
“It is up to the Governor to let us know how to proceed,” noted Haven. “Then, it comes down to sectional level and then community level. Everything is based on safety of the children. We need to make sure that we have a safe environment for the parents, students, and community. That is our number one goal.”
For now, the plan is to start low to moderate risk sports, soccer, field hockey, cross country, and tennis, on September 29th. Sports that have been designated high risk, football and volleyball, will be moved to March. The state requires that athletes wear a mask at all times.
Haven graduated from Alfred University with a degree in Fine Arts. He played both football and lacrosse and, in 2013, was inducted into Alfred’s Hall of Fame. He went on to get his Master’s in Education from Syracuse University.
Haven and his wife Amy, an art teacher, have two daughters. His older daughter was an All-American lacrosse player out of North Cicero and went on to play at James Madison University. She was part of the team that won the NCAA National Championship during her junior year. Haven’s younger daughter is a junior at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and is studying to become a pilot.
It will not be easy taking over as Bronxville’s AD, especially given the pandemic, but Haven is excited about his new position and all that it entails.
“The best part of the job is seeing kids succeed and grow,” said Haven. “I have loved athletics my whole life, and seeing the kids compete is outstanding.”
Pictured: Joe Haven at Chambers Field. Photo by S. Quinn DeJoy.