The timing was basically perfect for Jeff Squier.
With his wife, Jessica Squier, interviewing for the head volleyball coach job at Morningside College, Jeff took a look to see if there were any athletic director or school administration openings in or around Sioux City.
The then-athletic director and dean of students at Sterling High School in Colorado was in luck. South Sioux City High School had an opening for an activities director and assistant principal for the 2020-21 school year after Odell Santos let the district know that he and his wife both accepted positions in Omaha.
Jeff saw the position and when Jessica was in Sioux City interviewing for the position at Morningside, Jeff and the kids went to check out South Sioux's campus. Jeff liked what he saw and after Jessica was hired at Morningside, he sent his resume to South Sioux.
"I had just finished my Masters and I knew the opportunity would present itself for assistant principal or athletic director job somewhere," Squier said. "Knowing that this was open gave us that leap of faith to pursue Morningside and we think my resume and interview skills will be able to tackle a job like this."
The move to Sioux City proved beneficial for both Jessica's and Jeff's careers because in late February, Jeff Squier was hired as South Sioux's new activities director and assistant principal.
Squier's first official day at South Sioux was on July 1 and on Tuesday, he was introduced as the new activities director and assistant principal to the media.
Jeff and Jessica recently bought a house in South Sioux and have two children - a four-year-old and an 11-month-old.
"Very rarely in this profession do you find someone who has player, coach and administration experience at as many levels as he has, all the way up to professional levels," South Sioux Superintendent Todd Strom said. "We were fortunate to have two very dynamic people choose to make South Sioux their home. Definitely a win-win for everyone. We are very happy being part of their community. We know they will be welcomed and accepted."
Squier was the business teacher and FBLA advisor at Sterling High School, his alma mater, before becoming the school's athletic director and dean of students in 2015. Sterling High School and South Sioux have the same enrollment of about 1,350.
As athletic director, Squier supervised 14 athletic programs and handled all other duties of the activities department. That included transportation, fundraising and he ever oversaw the athletic booster club. He also integrated a new student-athlete handbook, rewrote the constitution and by-laws for the athletic conference and was the chair of the Colorado High School Athletic Association volleyball committee.
Sterling won three state championships while he was the athletic director. Squier also served as the baseball coach at Sterling the last four seasons and turned a team that was below .500 for 12 straight years to setting the program record for wins in a season (19) in 2019. The team was a top-four seed in the state tournament in 2018 and 2019.
Squier now takes over as the activities director and assistant principal at a school with plenty of diversity, which is something Squier is used to. He played college baseball at Mississippi Valley State University, a historically black university. He was drafted in the 14th round of the 2009 MLB draft. While playing in the Rockies minor league organization, he worked with his Latino teammates at each stop. Squier later played independent ball, including a stint with the Sioux City Explorers.
"That's who I am as a person, I like meeting different people and learning about different backgrounds. You can't put a square peg in a round hole," Squier said. "Learning what those things are about is important in life. You see what is going on in the world, not to get political about it, we need to understand each other to appreciate each other."
As Squier talked to the media in the South Sioux MiniDome, he couldn't help but notice the many banners hanging above him, signifying the strong athletic history different Cardinals' programs have had. There has been some dropoff with South Sioux athletics recently.
Squier's goal is to make sure opportunities to participate are there for every student at South Sioux. Whether it is with the football program, the track programs, mock trial or even E-sports.
"We have so many activities for kids to get involved in, we have to promote it," Squier said. "We don't have a kid problem here, where we have the problem is making sure they are engaged with that instructor, with that coach, with the program to where they want to feel this is an avenue they want to express themselves at. We are going to take care of our kids and we are going to promote them in a positive way.
"I think we can push a lot of things, whether it is the activities side of things or the career side of it. ... Hopefully, that intertwines everything we are trying to do here to get them to go out because we have their best interests at heart."
Squier's philosophy is something Strom was looking for in the two positions at South Sioux.
"If you are an athlete, a parent, a coach, a teacher in South Sioux City, we need to articulate what that expectation is and make sure everyone feels valued," Strom said. "The legacy, the tradition is here. It's just a matter of plugging in the talent, the individuals, the talent we have existing right now."