VIDEO: Hughes to Take on New Role, Leaves Athletics Legacy


After 18 years of impactful leadership, Mr. Mike Hughes will be moving on from his role as athletic director of the Jesuit Athletic Program.

Mr. Hughes will remain at Jesuit, and will take on the role of the assistant director of campus ministry.

For nearly two decades Hughes has been shaping Jesuit coaches to be excellent in all aspects.

“I help our coaches to coach for character through our core covenant program,” Hughes said. “I spent my time training coaches, bringing them in for workshops, and getting them to not only teach the X’s and O’s, the skills and drills, the techniques and tactics–but also poise, emotional maturity, teamwork, resilience, and work ethic.”

An example he highlighted was when coach Tom Rothenburger, former varsity track head coach, made his track team get off the bus before departing to finish cleaning up properly, illustrating Jesuit values.

“They go back and pick up all the trash because we always leave a place cleaner than when we came,” Hughes said.

Then he shared about coach Steve Fennah, varsity women’s soccer coach, who also carries out these core values through what he calls “sweep the ship.”

“The whole team keeps their locker room in pristine condition and their warm up is almost like a choreographed dance,” Hughes said.

“Those little things matter. And we’re trying to teach life skills.”

When asked about his proudest achievement as athletic director, Mr. Hughes shared a short story of one particular game.

“There was one game about 16 years ago when we didn’t have a referee. When they finally came, we started the game 2 hours late. But in 18 years that was the only time that happened, when we had hundreds of buses, all of the coaches, and schedules to manage,” Hughes said.

Though most current students know him by his role in athletics, Mr. Hughes’ Jesuit career started elsewhere.

In 1981, before Hughes was a part of the Jesuit community, he worked on leadership camps with Mr. Don Clarke in Seattle. When Hughes made his way to Jesuit High School to start our Christian service program and teach theology classes, Clarke eventually followed.

As Mr. Hughes returns to his roots, the two friends will be back in campus ministry together.

“It’ll be a joy to work with him,” Hughes said.

He has always been involved in campus life and ministry through many different aspects–leading retreats, chairing the technology and media department, chairing the Diversity Committee, teaching theology, coaching, and directing.

Ultimately, Hughes has used his background in, and love for faith to shape the athletic program he has led for the past 18 years.

“We’ve got to do more than just winning games. We’ve got to be about becoming better athletes, better human beings for the world, and in a Christian sense, better children for the kingdom of God.”