RYE, N.Y. -- The Rye City School District has hired Gerard “Rod” Mergardt as its interim director of physical education, health and athletics while searching for a permanent director.
Mergardt was appointed on Tuesday night by the Rye Board of Education and will begin work on July 1.
Mergardt has served as an interim athletic director for four school districts in Westchester County as well as one in Connecticut since retiring in 1996 after 26 years working as athletic director for the Bedford Central School District.
Mergardt succeeds Rob Castagna of Ridgefield, Conn., who is leaving at the end of the school year to become athletic director for the Byram Hills School District. Castagna, who served in Rye for 12 years , will succeed Mike Gulino, who is retiring after 34 years effective June 30.
“In his 52 years in public education, Rod Mergardt has 34 years of experience in the field of athletic administration," Rye Schools Superintendent Frank Alvarez said. "We are very happy to have him join the Garnet family.”
Mergardt said, “I am honored to lead the Rye City School District Department of Athletics during this transitional period. ... The focus of the department will continue to be on the success of our students, both on and off the field.”
Mergardt previously served as interim athletic director in the Tuckahoe, Ridgefield, Tarrytown, Byram Hills and Mamaroneck school districts.
He also was an adjunct professor of sports law at Manhattanville College and supervisor of undergraduate physical education student teachers at SUNY Cortland.
Mergardt also worked as a physical education teacher and coach in Bedford for five years and has coached football, wrestling, track and field, gymnastics and swimming and diving.
Mergardt has a bachelor's degree in education from SUNY Cortland, a master's degree in physical education from the University of Bridgeport, a degree in athletic administration from New York University, and additional study in school administration at Southern Connecticut State University and State University College in New Paltz.