Catoosa County is currently in search of a new Athletic and Tournament Director as Adam Wilson recently stepped down to take over as the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of East Ridge (Tenn.).

A 1999 graduate of LaFayette High School, Wilson first went to work for the Catoosa County Recreation Department in Feb. 2005, where he started out as Recreation Coordinator. He held a handful of job titles during the past 13-plus years. Wilson was promoted to Athletics Director in 2009 and has served as Catoosa's interim Parks and Recreation Director for just over a year.

While he said he is looking forward to what awaits him with the city of East Ridge, Wilson called leaving Catoosa County "bittersweet".

"I never envisioned when I started working down here in Catoosa County that I would ever leave," he said. "I really thought I would retire here, but as the years progressed I realized I wanted to take on more of a leadership role and advance my career."

Wilson said that over the past couple of years he worked toward a certified Parks and Recreation professional accreditation through the National Parks and Recreation Association, a certification in the field that shows continued education and advancement.

"When I did that, it kind of opened new doors and new opportunities," he continued. "Over the last couple of years, I've started thinking more and more about being the leader of a department."

The East Ridge position unfortunately came open this past spring following the untimely death of Marvin "Stump" Martin, who took over the post in back in 2011.

"I applied and I was just hoping to at least get an interview," he explained. "I got the interview and sat down in front of a panel of about five people and was fortunate enough to get the job."

Wilson wore many hats with the Catoosa County Recreation Department.

"I've done a little bit of everything in my 13 and a half years here," he said. "I've lined off and dragged the fields. I've worked in the concession stands when it was needed. I've worked on special events and put together tournaments. I've organized programs and sports leagues for both youth and adults and I also helped as Project Manager for the renovations here at the Jack Mattox Complex. I've done all kinds of stuff."

Wilson said he is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that will come with the East Ridge job, which include not only the facilities at Camp Jordan, but most of the facilities at East Ridge High School and Middle School, the East Ridge Community Center and Pioneer Frontier playground.

"I'm looking forward to help sprucing up an already great facility at Camp Jordan," he said. "I'm looking forward to implementing some fresh ideas and making it the premier centerpiece in the Tri-State area for sports of all kinds. There's also some great opportunities for outdoor recreation there as well."

He said that he expects Catoosa County will try and get the open position filled as soon as possible.

"What I'll miss the most is just all the people that I dealt with on a daily basis," he added. "I'll miss all the parents that were always eager to come up to you and just tell you that you were doing a good job and I'll miss the people that really make recreation in (Catoosa County) go and run smoothly. Hopefully I'll still cross paths with them again since I'm only going to be five minutes away. It's not like I'm moving away, but I may not see those people as often."