By Ken Jackson
Poinciana High School’s new athletic director, Rob Weilert, doesn’t have that different of a commute to work than he did a couple weeks ago.
Weilert took the job after spending eight years at Liberty High School, just down Poinciana Boulevard and up a block on Pleasant Hill, where he was most recently the assistant AD and girls weightlifting coach, a program he built from scratch into a county and regional contender that sent lifters to the state meet.
He replaces Matt Murphy, who left in January to assist Osceola County School District Athletic Director Ryan Adams. He is one of the first major hires of PHS Principal Jeff Schwartz, who also came on board in January. Schwartz said Weilert was one of several high-quality candidates to apply.
“Rob possess the perfect combination of shared vision, drive, and experience necessary for continuous improvement in our student-athlete programs,” he said. “His portfolio contained the attention to details for which we were looking. He came highly recommended by multiple people and his great work was evident at LHS in multiple programs, weightlifting especially. We look forward to him being an integral component in our quest to develop sports programs with character that reflect class and demand respect.”
Weilert, 32, a native of the Rochester, N.Y. area and a graduate of SUNY-Cortland, said his excitement for what’s possible at Poinciana equals how hard it was to leave the Chargers program.
“I wish I could take a full-page ad out to thank the people at Liberty,” he said. “I came of age and learned a lot there, the kind of hard work that makes people successful.”
Weilert also coached flag football at Liberty and was an assistant in cross country, soccer, and football “to get the perspective of being on the inside”. With that experience, he said he hopes to build the Eagles athletic program to “something on a grand scale”.
“It’s why I jumped at this opportunity to enter administration,” Weilert said. “I have a great understanding of this community, it’s a great fit and been a great transition.
“Poinciana has a lot of potential that people don’t know about yet. One of my missions is to make sure the good things happening there get outside our walls. I have no doubts that the athletic program can succeed at Poinciana.”
Weilert said he doesn’t plan on coaching at Poinciana.