Omaha Central hires new atheltic director, Rob Locken

Sophia Sgourakis, Staff Writer

With a new school year, comes a lot of new changes. One of the changes at Central High School include welcoming a new assistant principal and athletic director, Rob Locken.

Locken and previous athletic director, Luke Dillon have worked together in years before and have always stayed in touch. Therefore, it was easy for Locken to become aware of the new job once Dillon had left. After applying in HR, and going through a panel interview, he was eventually offered the new position.

Before coming to Central, Locken had been positioned at Bryan for nine years. For seven of those nine years, he was the assistant principal and athletic director. History wise, this is Locken’s 22nd year in education and 19th year with Omaha Public Schools.

But even before going to Bryan, Locken was actually part of the Eagle family. He was a weight training teacher and part of coaching staffs. More specifically, he was a coach on the track team when they were state champions. Locken didn’t fail to include that, “Chris Reed would’ve been one of my athletes, who plays in the NFL now, that was a state champ in the shot put.”

It is a pretty well-known fact that athletics have been struggling for a few years at Central. Even with this, Locken has always seen Central as a step ahead of everyone else in the district. However, Central has some of the most athletic and explosive players, especially in our district, and maybe even state- wide. Here at Central we have those athletes looking to turn Central around, and Locken said, “At the end of the day there’s just a lot of great kids.”
In the process of turning around athletics at Central around, Locken is very focused on academics. While running at a high level, he is going to make sure academics are in check and also high performing. While we have the talent at Central, it all comes down to going out and getting the job done while competing. Locken made it clear that, “We need to be at a chance where we are looking to go to State.”

In a short period of time, it is already seen that sports are improving from where they were three to four years ago. Locken is very hopeful in all the coaches that they will bring their teams out and show everyone all they can do. After the first win of the season against Benson in football, Locken was very content with the home opener. He has also been supporting the volleyball team, along with the parents, the fan-base and the student section. Locken ended his interview saying, “The student section is what I really enjoy seeing at all the games, cheering for everyone.”
With the help of Locken, Central athletics will be back to their prime and “Champ High” will earn its name back.