A few years ago, Ryan Resendez sat with his wife Haley and the two of them mapped out where they’d like to be as a family in the next five to 10 years.
In recent months, the two marveled over them drawing ever closer to their goal. However, it also brought Resendez to an unfortunate crossroads and choosing what truly matters most.
Last week, Resendez announced he is stepping down as East Gaston High athletic director after three years on the job.
“This was a tough decision that really came down to family. It's a really bittersweet decision,” he said. “We made a timeline of our goals and a plan to accomplish them, and man, we're right there. I hate to leave, but there’s no better time than now with the athletic program in a good place.
"My time at East Gaston has truly been the best years of my life. I'm proud of what these kids and this community were able to accomplish," he added in a Facebook post. "Time after time we were able to do things that people told me couldn't be done."
After six years serving as a varsity and junior varsity baseball coach at Mallard Creek, Resendez — a 2007 Forestview graduate — arrived at East Gaston in 2016. In two short years, he was in charge of the Warrior athletic program.
Key hires, particularly in football and volleyball have helped the East Gaston athletic program trend upward.
Thirsty for success on the gridiron, Resendez's hire of J.T. Postell has turned the Warriors' fortunes for the better. Following a two-win season in Postell's first season on the job, East Gaston jumped to eight wins this fall with it advancing to the third round of the Class 2A playoffs.
It was East Gaston's best season since 2015, this year's team only the second to make it three rounds deep in the postseason. "I tried to tell anyone who would believe me a few years ago that we could do some big things (in 2021)," Resendez said.
Under the guidance of coach Haley Stewart, the East Gaston volleyball team claimed a Southern Piedmont 1A/2A title. Later, Stewart was voted the league's best coach.
More importantly, community support never waned despite the many ups and downs that come with building a winning brand. According to Resendez, it is why his stint was successful.
“This community has been amazing to this program, as well as me and my family,” he said. “In terms of community support, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better in Gaston County. I’ve really appreciated everything they have given in my time here.”
With his new gig, sports will remain a point of emphasis. However, Resendez is looking forward to the added time he’ll get to spend with his two children.
“Going to the City of Gastonia and work as a recreation manager, I’ll be doing a lot of what I’ve been doing but will get to spend more time at home,” Resendez said. “East Gaston is a special place to me, and I know my kids will be Warriors when it’s time for high school.
“But this is a special time in life for (my kids), and I am looking forward to the added time I’ll get being a dad.”
You can reach Joe Hughes at 704-914-8138, email firstname.lastname@example.org and follow on Twitter @JoeLHughesII.
This article originally appeared on The Gaston Gazette: East Gaston athletic director Ryan Resendez resigns from post