Jon Hannam's involvement in the fabric of Cedarburg athletics began nearly two decades ago.
He'll be an even bigger component moving forward as the new athletics director at CHS, taking the reins officially July 1.
Hannam, who will replace Dave Pentek after three years in the position, has taught at the school for 11 years. But even before that, he remembers vividly the last time a CHS boys basketball team reached the state tournament before the magical run of 2017. Hannam was part of the 1999 team that fell in the opening round to New London.
He was also a member of the 1998 summer baseball team that fell to Nicolet in the state-championship game. Hannam, coincidentally, started his teaching career at Nicolet before moving back to his alma mater, where he had been a three-sport athlete.
"My administrators and everyone here has been very good to me over the years," Hannam said. "I know I see people throw this (term) around kind of often, but it's kind of a dream job. I haven't really been looking at positions outside of Cedarburg. I'm happy and fortunate of how people have treated me as a teacher and coach. This was a really special opportunity and too special a situation to pass up."
He's coached football in some capacity, most notably as Cedarburg's defensive coordinator, for the past 15 years. Last year, he was a varsity assistant coach and freshman coach in the basketball program, which notably finished its varsity season in a nail-biting state-championship loss to LaCrosse Central.
Hannam said he always wanted to be a head coach, but the AD position also allows him to apply his business sensibilities. He's a business and information technology teacher.
"I thought it was the best of both worlds for me," Hannam said. "It certainly will be difficult (to stop coaching), but at the same time, I think it’s neat to oversee an entire athletic program, work with head coaches and help them develop their programs. It’s neat being part of an entire athletic program instead of just one team."
The Bulldogs program, which has cultivated success in sports such as girls basketball, swimming and soccer, will be among the top boys basketball programs again next year, as well.
"Something I talked about during interviews is to keep riding this wave and catch other sports here," Hannam said. "During our regular season, the attendance wasn’t great, so it’s something we really want to build on. That’s one of my top priorities here, to kind of boost the attendance and energy at our games. It was very evident at state; I don’t know if there was a more enthusiastic fan base than ours. We have to keep that wave rolling. We have a special community in Cedarburg, and I want to really involve the community that much more and keep this going.
"We really want to be known not just throughout southeastern Wisconsin but across the state. That’s a big initiative of mine, to convey that to people and use different platforms like social media and get the word out there."
Hannam is married with two young children, son Jaxon (age 4) and daughter Josie (age 4 months).