By: Bell West
Glenelg has long been regarded as one of the best athletically performing high schools in Howard County. For at least the past decade, Glenelg athletes, coaches, and supporters have been instrumental in solidifying the school’s outstanding reputation in sports.
Still, it’s the person who was recently named Athletic Director of the Year in Maryland’s District V that anchors Glenelg’s athletic standing: Dan Sageman.
As the athletic and activities director, Sageman manages Glenelg’s sports teams, all 44 of them. Sageman actively works to help set up and monitor sporting events, arrange scheduling, and manage time between teams on the field and the court, in addition to a host of other responsibilities.
If you know Sageman, he will tell you he’s just doing his job, that any awards and recognition he’s received – like the one bestowed upon him in December from the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) – are a result of those around him.
And if you also know Sageman, you know that his effectiveness as an athletic director is due to his humility.
“In this position, I want to try and give my all to better our students' situations and create a more positive environment,” he said. “I would much rather have others around me happy than myself.”
Sageman continues to work to achieve this goal and both the student and staff community see it.
“I’ve known him for about 10-12 years and he’s been fabulous to work for,” said coach Butch Schaffer. “He goes above and beyond everything that needs to be done to benefit our kids’ success. His biggest joy is seeing our kids be successful and happy. You won’t find a nicer person,” he added.
Other colleagues agree.
“He’s willing to do anything for you, said Gage Trawick, Physical and Health Education teacher. “He’s always willing to listen and be a voice of reason; he’s very understanding and stable. He’s really willing to work with you on anything.”
Coach Tim Cullen also commented on Sageman’s openness by adding, “He’s just easy to talk to. His door’s always open. Whatever’s on your mind, he always takes time for you.”
Sageman’s efforts don’t go unnoticed by Glenelg athletes either.
“He’s helped us a lot with volleyball and he’s been such a great supporter,” said sophomore Tanusha Shukla. “When I talk to him he’s always super nice and he’s just in general a really great person to be around."
In his free time, Sageman said he most enjoys being with his family, reading mystery books, and staying active by going to the gym and playing lacrosse with his daughter. Sageman has two dogs and loves being around them. However, he said he doesn’t have much time for his hobbies outside of school, mainly due to his commitment to Glenelg sporting events.
Sageman said it’s what he’s here for: “I want people to know that they have someone, win or lose, cheering for them,” he said. “I want them to know that their time, sacrifice, and effort are appreciated.”
And athletes, like freshman volleyball player Isard Bernades, definitely know it.
“He’s very supportive of our games. He was there a lot and him being there made me happy and feel good," Bernades said.
So what's left for the man who's already left an indelible mark in the school and community? Would you be surprised if the response weren't about himself?
"In this position, your one wish is that students take advantage of all the opportunities Howard County offers in terms in extracurricular activities," he said. "I wish for all students to find something to be a part of, to feel connected to."