An interview with Doug Esleeck, Athletic Director & Head Basketball Coach, Forsyth Country Day School
About Forsyth Country Day School: Calling Lewisville, North Carolina home, Forsyth Country Day School is a college preparatory, independent K-12 institution known for its challenging academic curriculum, fine arts programs, and superior athletics. In fact, student-athletes at Forsyth have participated in 48 different state championship teams in the last 38 years including five state championships in 2000 alone.
ArbiterSports: Doug, what were the motivating factors that led you to a career in athletics?
Doug Esleeck: I’ve always had a great love for sports and most particularly basketball. I played basketball most of my life, coached it in Division 1 and now I’m coaching it at Forsyth along with being the school’s AD.
Forsyth Country Day is a user and big believer in Arbiter Pay Unlimited, our digital payment software. Why did you switch from manual check writing and recordkeeping to digital?
That’s a great question because it was actually other schools in our conference that basically said, “Why are you guys still writing checks to officials? You don’t need to do that any longer. Check out Arbiter Pay.” So we did and we signed up soon after. It was a very easy decision.
We assume it was your decision Doug, what were the motivating factors other than different schools in your league suggesting you sign on?
I don’t look at it as much as signing up for a digital payment provider as much as subscribing to a service that literally saves us an hour of time each day; and truth be told; it’s probably much more than that when we factor in the time savings realized by our accounting department. Our Assistant AD, who is also our Athletic Trainer, was spending an hour or more writing checks, tracking-down uncashed checks, re-writing checks when a different ref showed up to a game. Frankly, it was painful.
And now, can we assume it’s quite a bit less painful?
Absolutely. Arbiter Pay Unlimited has given us days back, not just hours. And that’s what we need, we need more time. More time to spend with the kids, more time to work on the lessons that athletics can teach us, and more time to work on challenging issues like sportsmanship and trying to resolve the issues of ref shortages, which many times are a direct result of bad sportsmanship.
Talk to us about some of those lessons that athletics can teach us.
In college, it really is different; there’s so much attention to winning. In high school and middle school, coaches and ADs have the ability to teach lessons about the meaning of team and teamwork; how to win and how to lose graciously; what it takes to have a great attitude and a great day even if things don’t go your way; and how our kids can become great adults, wonderful fathers, and superb workers. But we need the time, as coaches and ADs, to do that. When we devote what little time we have to find refs, writing checks and stuffing envelopes, we lose our ability to teach the life skills that athletics are the perfect springboard for. And that’s what every high school AD needs to know. If you want to subscribe to Arbiter Pay Unlimited, where you can pay as many 1099 workers as you want without added costs, and save tons of time and aggravation, do it in the next few days. But, if you want to subscribe to Arbiter Pay Unlimited because you want to save time every day to be a better coach and a better AD, do it in the next few hours.
That’s incredibly eloquent Doug.
I’m not certain it’s eloquent as much as it is pragmatic. Arbiter Pay makes us better, and who doesn’t want to be better?