Brad Ostrander is Edwardsburg’s new athletic director

Brad Ostrander knows what it’s like to be a successful student-athlete at Edwardsburg High School.

He also knows what it’s like to be a teacher, coach and parent in the school system.

This impressive background should stand him in good stead as he embarks on the new challenge of his educational career.

Ostrander, a 1995 EHS graduate, was named the new athletic director and dean of students at his alma mater in late June.

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Ostrander replaces Kevin Dean, who was Edwardsburg’s DA since 2003. Dean is currently helping with the transition and will step down at the end of October.

“I was very excited,” Ostrander said in a phone interview earlier this week about his reaction when he was endorsed by the Edwardsburg school board last month. “I know the pride of being an Eddie.

“It was too good an opportunity not to take it. And I was also ready for a new chapter and a new challenge.”

Ostrander has spent the past 18 years teaching in the Edwardsburg school system. The 2000 Bethel College grad also served as an assistant baseball coach for the Eddies. The baseball program, led by head coach AJ Gaideski, included his son Connor. The eldest of his three sons was a star shortstop for the Eddies and an All-State selection in 2022 for the second year in a row and also played running back on the highly successful Edwardsburg football team , who won a state title in 2018.

“I felt like this opportunity really fit my journey as an athlete, teacher and coach,” remarked Ostrander. “I’ve enjoyed teaching and coaching and will miss it, but I’m really looking forward to my new job.”

Ostrander played baseball and basketball for four years while attending Edwardsburg and also played football for two years. He and his wife Leslie, who is a guidance counselor at Edwardsburg High School, have three sons. Connor, a 2022 graduate of Edwardsburg, is going to play baseball at Western Michigan University. Grady is a sophomore, who plays football, competes in track and field and ski lifts, and Chase, who is a sophomore.

Ostrander, who was a pitcher for Bethel’s baseball program, knows he has big shoes to fill as Dean prepares to leave later this fall.

“Kevin has done a great job here and we have a lot of very successful sports programs,” Ostrander noted. “One of the great things is that he has maintained great stability among our head coaches and my challenge is to continue that.

“I think Kevin has done a great job of communicating with our coaches here. I know a big part of my job here now is to build relationships and trust with all of our coaches in all of our sports. That’s something something that Kevin had and something that is very important for an athletic department.”

Ostrander, who is 45, says he is learning “so much” every day as he settles into his new position before classes resume in September.

“My challenge is to make sure I’m here to help all of our sports be successful,” Ostrander said. “We have a lot of programs here that have been very successful. I also want to continue to work with MHSAA to make sure that we here in Edwardsburg and in our area are well represented.”

Ostrander knows that the role of high school athletics is very important for young people.

“I hope our coaches use athletics to teach our students life lessons,” Ostrander commented. “We have a lot of multi-sport athletes here who are also great students. It’s very important to have that balance with athletics.

“Sport is just a great tool to teach life lessons,” he concluded.

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