2017-05-10 / Front Page

Palmer is West Virginia Athletic Director of the Year

by Kate Evans


Jeff Palmer, Paw Paw High School athletic director (seen on right), was named West Virginia Athletic Director of the Year at the West Virginia Athletic Directors Association (WVADA) annual conference in Charleston on April 29. WVADA president Jamie Tallman (left) presented Palmer with his award. Jeff Palmer, Paw Paw High School athletic director (seen on right), was named West Virginia Athletic Director of the Year at the West Virginia Athletic Directors Association (WVADA) annual conference in Charleston on April 29. WVADA president Jamie Tallman (left) presented Palmer with his award. Paw Paw High School athletic director Jeff Palmer was chosen as the West Virginia Athletic Director of the Year at the West Virginia Athletic Directors Association annual conference in Charleston on April 29.

Palmer is finishing his 21st year as Paw Paw High School’s athletic director. He also teaches special education and safety at the school.

Palmer is a longtime Paw Paw High School coach. He’s been head coach for boys’ basketball and assistant coach for girls’ varsity basketball. Palmer is currently assistant track coach, assistant volleyball coach and head baseball coach at the school. Palmer has been head baseball coach for a total of seven years, coaching for five years then stepping in and out for two more years when no one else would coach.


Robert Arnold (left) received a Distinguished Service Award at the West Virginia Athletic Directors Association conference for being clock operator for 41 years for the Paw Paw High School volleyball and basketball program. He is pictured with his wife Lisa Arnold and son James Arnold who also attended the conference along with Palmer’s wife Holly Palmer. photos by Holly Palmer Robert Arnold (left) received a Distinguished Service Award at the West Virginia Athletic Directors Association conference for being clock operator for 41 years for the Paw Paw High School volleyball and basketball program. He is pictured with his wife Lisa Arnold and son James Arnold who also attended the conference along with Palmer’s wife Holly Palmer. photos by Holly Palmer Palmer received a Bachelor of Science degree from West Virginia University in 1984 and got his Master’s of Arts degree in special education from WVU in 1994. He began teaching at Musselman Middle School in 1988 and coached varsity track at Musselman High School that year.

At Paw Paw 27 years

Palmer moved to Paw Paw Schools from 1989 to 2002, and then taught at Western Heights Middle School in Hagerstown in 2002-2003. Palmer returned to Paw Paw Schools in 2003 and has been there ever since.

Palmer began his career in athletic administration in 1994. Under Palmer’s supervision Paw Paw High School added varsity and middle school volleyball, track and cross country. He’s also been the coordinator for the Class A Region 2, Section 2 basketball tournament.

Palmer has been a member of the West Virginia Athletic Directors Association for 12 years and is also a member of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. He earned his Certified Athletic Administrator certification in May, 2015.

Honored and blessed

Palmer said he is very blessed and honored to have received the Athletic Director of the Year award.

“Getting this award is the highlight of my professional career. I was selected by my peers -- the people who know the accomplishments that have gone into it,” he said.

Palmer said he is blessed to be working for Paw Paw Schools and living in the town of Paw Paw. A lot of people want to come to the school because of his networking.

“They know we have great crowds. We try to develop that fan and player experience,” Palmer said.

Palmer is proud of the positive relationship and great reputation they have with the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, who never gets any calls about them. They run a clean sports program, their kids are good kids and he makes sure that athletes are eligible to compete, Palmer said.

Career highlights

When asked of his proudest moments, Palmer said that during his tenure their boys’ basketball team made two trips to Charleston for the state championship.

Paw Paw High School basketball player Josh Delawder also became the all-time interscholastic high school boys’ basketball point leader in West Virginia in 2000-a record Delawder still holds.

Paw Paw High School’s baseball teams also won back to back sectional titles in 1999 and 2000 when Palmer was head coach. The school has only won four sectional titles in its history, Palmer said. Principal’s recommendation

Paw Paw Schools Principal Melinda Kasekamp said in her nomination letter that when she thinks of Palmer as a teacher and as an athletic director, the word that comes to mind is “service.”

“Jeff is one of the first staff here in the morning and is always the last one home at night. His days are impossibly long during basketball season and his duties are never-ending,” Kasekamp said.

Kasekamp noted that Palmer is a volunteer coach for various school sports and has always willingly stepped in to coach many times over the years when they couldn’t find coaches.

Palmer works with their community coaches, keeps their certifications and required clinics up to date and is a master scheduler for the many school and community teams vying for use of their gym, all while being a valuable member of their faculty, she said. He also schedules and re-schedules events and arranges transportation for student fall, winter and spring sports.

Palmer successfully added three new sports programs in which their students can participate and has done an outstanding job, Kasekamp said.

"Athletic Directors have very difficult jobs that involve working all day and many nights away from their family. They also must manage programs that involve extensive planning, training in financial procedures, and above all else, giving our student-athletes the best opportunities for success,” said Morgan County Schools Superintendent David Banks.

"Jeff has been a pillar in the community of Paw Paw and has always been the biggest fan of Paw Paw Athletics. He has been able to find ways to continue to add additional sports to the middle and high school programs while also finding innovative ways to fund those programs.

“His positive outlook, passion for athletics, and focus on students are what sets him apart. We are all very proud of his accomplishment of being West Virginia Athletic Director of the Year by his colleagues," Banks added.

Robert Arnold award

Robert Arnold was also honored with a Distinguished Service Award at the West Virginia Athletic Directors Association conference for being clock operator for 41 years for the Paw Paw High School volleyball and basketball program. Palmer said he appreciated all that Arnold has done for him and their athletic department.

Return to top