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Wendell High School has officially hired its replacement for Phil Wert as athletic director.

Mike Green, a longtime coach and teacher at Highland High School in Pocatello, was officially hired this month. He will also be a physical education/health teacher at Wendell, and he plans to be an assistant coach, mainly for the football team at this stage.

“Super excited about being a Trojan,” Green said over the phone on Friday. “I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Green taught and coached at Highland for 20 years. In March 2017, he resigned as the Rams’ head varsity baseball coach after 14 years while remaining the PE/health and weight training teacher. He said he had “run my course” as the head baseball coach.

Wendell principal Justin Alsterlund said Green was one of eight applicants for the athletic director position, and he stood out.

“He just impressed us with his organization and his knowledge and his passion for sports and student-athletes,” Alsterlund said Thursday. “He brings instant credibility to our school.”

Green said he enjoyed his time at Highland, a perennial power in several sports at the 5A level. Wendell has struggled at the 2A level in recent years, and Green knows it won’t be easy to improve all of the downtrodden teams. But he’s excited to try.

Green didn’t take the Wendell job purely for athletic reasons. One advantage of moving from a 5A school to a 2A school, he said, is the smaller student body. He will get to know a higher percentage of his students in his new role, he expects.

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“If we win or lose, it’s not the end of the world,” he said. “We’re building student-athletes to be better people outside of the high school.”

The Wendell athletic director and the PE/health teaching position are attached, Alsterlund said. Wert was pursuing PE/health teaching certification, but he decided to focus on social studies and end his seven-year tenure as AD.

“I wanted to get more in the classroom,” Wert said Friday. “I enjoyed being the athletic director. I’m still 100 percent Trojan through and through.”

Wert will remain Wendell’s head varsity softball coach.

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