Ryan Scherling spent July 1 getting his bearings as he officially took over as the new Payson High School athletic director.
He found his office, met other staff members, toured the campus and tried to figure out how to print his resume for an inquisitive reporter.
But Scherling, 35, had already gotten a jump on his new position when he took part in virtual interviews for some of the five varsity head coaching vacancies at the school prior to officially starting.
That’s just part of the job description for a high school athletic director. It’s not a 9-5 Monday-Friday job.
Athletic directors work nights and weekends and, yes, sometimes they start before they actually start.
“It’s been kind of a whirlwind,” Scherling said.
But he was happy to play a role in the hiring of five varsity head coaches.
And he seems comfortable relocating to Payson and Rim Country.
“I just like the way schools in a small town have a close-knit relationship with the community and how athletes interact with the community,” Scherling said. “I like that feel.”
Colorado rootsScherling was born and raised in Colorado. He comes to Payson from a similar role at Bear Creek High in Lakewood, Colo., where he was the AD and assistant principal at the 5A (largest) school with 1,650 students last year. He moved from Colorado to Overland Park, Kan. with his family at 14.
EducationHe played football in high school before moving on to college. He majored in marketing at Kansas State University from 2004-06, completed his bachelor’s degree in marketing at Pittsburgh State University in 2007, earned a master’s degree in coaching and sports administration from Concordia University-Irvine in 2011 and a master’s of education degree from Northern Arizona University in 2018.
Experience/coachingHe spent two seasons (2007-08) as a football assistant coach (tight ends) at Division II Texas A&M Commerce then spent two seasons (2010-11) as the wide receivers coach/director of football operations at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo.
Then, at 26, he moved to Arizona to take the head football coaching job at Sierra Vista Buena High for two seasons (2012-13). He led Buena to 14 wins in two seasons and back-to-back playoff appearances (Div. I 2012/ Div. II 2013) for the first time since the 1970s. The Herald/Review named him their 2012 Coach of the Year.
He moved on to become offensive coordinator at Pima Community College for one year (2014), and spent two seasons (2016-17) as the head football coach at Tucson Cholla High before shifting to an administrative role and earning his two master’s degrees.
Coaches hiredPayson has hired Robert Mavis as the new boys basketball varsity head coach, Billy Spaulding as the boys soccer varsity head coach and Kamae Carnes as the new varsity volleyball head coach.
They haven’t announced a new head cheer coach, yet.
Varsity head coaching openings remain for wrestling and cheerleading.