CENTRAL LAKE — Quinn Barry says Central Lake sports won’t be quite the same without Mark Beasley.
Beasley submitted his resignation as Trojans athletic director Wednesday, and plans to move downstate for another job opportunity and to be closer to family.
“He’ll be sorely missed in his position,” said Barry, who coached basketball at Central Lake for 30 years before also stepping away after this season. “He brought so much enthusiasm to the school and programs. But he’s also a good buddy.
“He’s like the Pied Piper in school. He’s a guy the kids and adults all gravitate to.”
Barry also served as athletic director for 15 years, followed by Donavan Eggleston and Ben Williams before Beasley took over three years ago.
Beasley accepted a job with Comcast and will move to the Flint area to be closer to the family of his wife Jessica, a preschool teacher at Central Lake. Jessica Beasley’s father passed away about a month ago.
“Our desire is to move to take care of our family,” Beasley said Thursday. “The biggest thing I did (at Central Lake) was develop youth and community. I just wanted to be a help and a servant to the kids.”
Beasley and his wife moved to Central Lake four years ago, and he volunteered in the athletic program for a year before taking the athletic director position.
His first year as AD saw the Trojans cooperative football team with Ellsworth win the eight-player state championship.
“To see a school struggle with that decision and then go on to win a state championship, that was amazing,” Beasley said. “I’ve never seen a community like Central Lake where they take care of their own. We’d have people leave us gift baskets on our porch. We’ve really loved being part of the community”
Barry said he joked with Beasley that it was all downhill after the school won a football state title his very first athletic season as athletic director.
Beasley started a tradition called the “Fifth Quarter” of a bonfire at his house after every home football game, a gathering that drew players, fans, students and community members.
“I’m going to miss the students incredibly,” Beasley said. “And I’m really going to miss Ski Valley (Conference) athletic directors, all those guys and friendships we’ll have forever.”