Bryan Bedford has been named the new athletic director of the Hudson City School District.

Bedford, 35, takes over for Ray Ebersole, who decided to retire after taking a leave of absence.

Ebersole will continue his leave of absence until his official retirement in December. Dan Kalinsky served as Hudson's athletic director during Ebersole's absence.

"I'm excited for the opportunity," Bedford said. "I just want to keep the tradition going. Hudson has a long history of athletics and I have always been passionate about it. When the opportunity presented itself, I knew it was a good fit."

Bedford's hiring was approved by the Hudson Board of Education June 12.

"We are excited that Bryan will be the new athletic director for the Hudson City School District," Hudson manager of communications and alumni outreach Sheryl Sheatzley said. "Bryan brings tremendous experience to the position. He had worked closely with the Hudson students and parents for the past four years."

Hudson City Schools Superintendent Phil Herman said there were 38 applicants for the position.

"We are thrilled to have selected Bryan Bedford as the next athletic director," he said. "Bryan brings a wealth of knowledge about athletics in the education environment, drawing on his experiences as a collegiate athlete, a coach, school guidance counselor and a high school administrator.

"More importantly, Bryan brings a passion for developing student athletes, focusing on positive character traits, meaningful relationships, high academic standards and overcoming challenges.

"We feel fortunate to have him transitioning into this role and look forward to continued success in athletics."

Bedford was hired as unit principal at Hudson High School in 2013. Under a 215-day contract, he was paid $90,223 last year.

Bedford also served as an assistant coach for the boys basketball team during the 2016-17 season.

Prior to joining Hudson, Bedford spent six years as a guidance counselor at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School.

"I'm looking forward to the upcoming year," Bedford said. "I have been able to establish relationships with the coaches through my current role as unit principal. I'm looking forward to building those relationships."

Bedford played basketball for Kent State University. The 2004 KSU graduate was a member of the 2001-02 team that reached the NCAA Division I tournament's Elite Eight. He also earned a master's degree and an education specialist degree at Kent State.

"He is an experienced coach and gifted athlete," Sheatzley said. "Bryan played for one of the best teams in Kent's history."

Bedford graduated from Case High School in Racine, Wisc. He was a member of the 1999 state championship boys basketball team. It was Case's first state basketball title in more than 50 years.

"The championship run I had in high school and the Elite Eight run with Kent State are unique experiences that I want to be part of our student athletes," Bedford said. "We have established a winning tradition with several of our programs. I just want to keep the ship running strong."

Ebersole had been Hudson's athletic director since 2004.

"We wish him well in his retirement," Sheatzley said. "We want to recognize Ray for his positive contribution to the athletic program and all of our students."

Under his new 225-day contract, which is effective Aug. 1, Bedford will make $92,929.

Email: faceto@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9444

Facebook: FrankAcetoRecordPublishingCoSports

Twitter: FrankAceto_RPC