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Holler takes over as Oak Creek AD as celebrated Lampe retires

Change happened quickly

March 4, 2014

It's been about a month since the transition and the buses are still running on time to basketball games and wrestling meets, and the groundwork for the upcoming spring season has been laid.

But the fifth grade students at Edgewood School still miss Scott Holler and Holler misses them. Holler, the new Athletic and Activities Director at Oak Creek High School, is still stunned when he realizes that three hours have come off the clock in the morning and he still has so many items left on the day's "to-do" list.

"There are so many people to talk to and who want your time," Holler said. "It's part of the job."

However, Holler smiles when he realizes that spring must eventually get here and that means the start of his beloved baseball season cannot be far behind. Yes, the multi-time state champion Knights will still have their coach when late May rolls around as Holler will wear two hats for part of the year.

"I'm still quite passionate about coaching (baseball) and I'm not ready to stop doing it yet," he said, "and the school board agreed to it."

Stepping down

Holler, 33, took over the director's position around Feb. 4 as longtime Oak Creek fixture Greg Lampe retired after 36-1/2 years of teaching, coaching and administrating due to health reasons.

Lampe, who had held the athletics and activities directors' post since 2005, wanted to stay on another year and help groom Holler for the job, but some recently-discovered arrhythmia in his heart finally told him that it was time to step off the high-speed Merry-Go-Round that was his career.

"That was the plan (to groom Holler for the job)," said Lampe, "but you never know what life will throw at you. You just realize that at some point there's more to life than just working."

It ends a quietly spectacular career for Lampe, who began as a special-education teacher and then went into physical education.

He initiated the girls softball program in 1987 and held that coaching post for 17 years before taking the AD's job. During his time as softball mentor he had the opportunity to coach his daughter, Julia, who was a fine outfielder for the Knights.

Holler, who has a master's degree in curriculum and instruction and who just recently earned his certification as a first-level Registered Athletic Administrator, had always thought about becoming an athletic director. But just not so soon.

Future comes now

"The goal was always there," he said, "but it was down the road. I love teaching (he spent 11 years at Edgewood working with fifth graders), but I knew that this was something I could see myself doing. Greg and I had a couple of conversations when we both knew that he was getting close (to retirement). I would pick his brain while talking baseball stuff.

"And he told me he thought I'd do a good job."

Lampe, who is feeling better these days, has in the past month stopped in the office from time-to-time to give wise words of instruction or just an "attaboy" to Holler.

He remains bullish on his successor and what he can do in the post.

"We talked and I talked to the administration, we all felt that he'd be a good fit," Lampe said. "It just happened a lot sooner than anyone thought."

The original idea was to have Holler shadow Lampe for a year and get a feel for things. Holler had a good feel for certain things already having been both a game manager for basketball games and a clock manager for football games for several years, but there was more to learn.

"I would find out what it was like to run events and get workers in place," he said, "but then his (Lampe's) health issues set in (late last year)."

And so the plan was set aside, as Lampe wisely decided to listen to his head and to his body and step down in favor of a younger, more energetic man, who had to get his feet wet in a fast-running river.

Giving advice

Something his old boss is willing to help him get used to, while throwing him a life preserver from time-to-time.

"There have been a lot of positives to this job," Lampe said. "Very meaningful things. Working with the coaches, with the kids."

He's not worried about the future of the district.

"I'll be around a little while yet, help make the transition as smooth as possible," he said.

He isn't giving Holler a long list of "do's" and "don'ts," but just some common-sense advice.

"The main thing I try to tell him is to be fair to everybody," Lampe said. "Sometimes you have to take a hard stand, but if you treat everyone with respect you'll be treated with respect back.

"He's (Holler) going to be a real plus to the program."

Holler is grateful for the encouragement, but isn't quite ready to have Lampe leave the scene just yet.

"He's been unbelievable," said Holler of Lampe. "Some people when they're done, they're done, but he said 'I don't want to do that to you.'

"I'm lucky to have that kind of relationship. He's both my mentor and my friend."

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