(PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID CAMPBELL MADISON COURIER)

                        Madison, IN: Bronkella takes an opportunity with Center Grove High School

Nearly five years ago, In July 2017, Madison Consolidated Schools named Joe Bronkella as the new Athletic Director. Since then, Madison Athletics has undergone significant improvements in all aspects of operations, implementation of participant-enhancing technology, multiple facilities upgrades, intentionally student-focused initiatives and programs to develop leadership, and an unwavering commitment to integrity and accountability among coaches and student-athletes.

It is those achievements that caught the attention of Center Grove High School where Bronkella will take over as the new athletic director as of July 1, 2022.

“I have truly enjoyed my time in Madison”, shared Bronkella. “I have met incredible students, have worked with some very passionate coaches, been witness to incredible teams and student successes across the board, and have been fortunate enough to be heavily involved in a number of capital projects that have created incredible facilities and competition areas for our student-athletes to call home. It is these things that I feel have prepared me to take the next step in my career at a larger school.”

During his tenure at Madison, Bronkella has:

● Rebuilt the direction and focus of the Athletic Department through collaboration and stakeholder engagement.

● Provided guidance in working with coaches to shift to a college-like approach to creating their staff, outlining program goals, working toward vertical alignment, and development of youth programming partnerships as feeder programs.

● Created contracted relationships that created financial gain and opportunities to positively impact students, teams, and programs by working with vendors such as Pepsi, Adidas, Final Forms, Norton Health, and Mad City CrossFit.

● Created a branded, timely, and positive student-centered social media presence to celebrate all sports with a focus on proactive communication.

● Operated with fairness and equality in regard to department decisions and discipline of athletes and coaches. This included the implementation of the appeal/hearing process, the creation of student handbooks, and the creation of the Student Athletic Council - developing a culture for prioritizing student voice.

● Proactively sought out ways to consistently improve the department and services it provided.

● Routinely presented new ideas to support the improvements of facilities, programs, coaches development, and mentoring opportunities for coaches and student-athletes.

● A tireless approach to building positive relationships with staff and officials.

It is likely his ‘get it done and done impeccably 'approach to work that provided Bronkella with the opportunity to take on a much larger task with Center Grove. Located in Greenwood, IN, and home to the Trojans, CGHS boasts a student body enrollment of approximately 2,600 students. “It is a much larger student population than Madison,” Bronkella continued. “I look very forward to taking some of the things I have learned and implemented in my time here and working to implement them in my new position.”

At the time of his hire, the department was operating near the ‘red’ financially - staring at more expenses than it had funds to cover. In five years, the department soared a healthy surplus of funds and he has built a system where all coaches are responsible for their fundraising, manage their own budgets, and spend according to their needs. “As a department, we have created a process by which all teams are in a rotation for uniforms, equipment, and venue enhancements that fall outside of the capital projects budget,” he explained. “We have a process by which the student-athletes and coaches work together to determine their needs, raise the funds necessary to purchase outside items, and are accountable for that funding.”

In addition, Bronkella has worked to create a system that has incorporated all athletics for both the high school and junior high school in one place through the FinalForms and EventLink systems. Efficiently able to manage schedules, staffing, and a complete student management system for all sports across both schools - these systems have led to a much more efficient and streamlined approach to enrollment for parents and students. In addition, technology has enabled the implementation of live-streaming events from most venues so that Cub fans can watch a number of events from anywhere.

But his staff says it best: “I have had the privilege of serving under Joe for 2 years as a coach and the past 3 years as his assistant. What he has done here at Madison in the past 5 years is pretty remarkable, and he has moved our Athletic Department as a whole forward in a positive way. Joe is a great man of character and integrity. He has been and continues to be a great role model for me professionally & personally. Madison Athletics needed someone like Joe to take the reins 5 years ago and he will be missed.” - Patric Morrison, Assistant Athletic Director

“Joe has been a great supporter of MCHS Girls XC. He was at several meets cheering the athletes on and always made sure we had what we needed to compete at a high level. Joe’s impact on MCHS athletics in a short period of time has been nothing less than phenomenal and I wish him the best as he continues his journey.” - Josh Wilber, MCHS Lady Cubs Cross Country Coach

“Joe has been such a support to me as a coach, both in and out of season. He has impacted my life greatly by turning me into a Cub and a strong supporter of Madison! Our program is now operating with the newest equipment and one of the best facilities because of his hard work and determination. He will most definitely be missed!” - Camille Crim, MCHS Volleyball Coach

“During Joe’s time at Madison, he transformed the vision and mission around programming and leadership development opportunities for student-athletes in all sports. He has also created a coaching environment where he mentored every member of our team in ways that were positive, constructive, supportive, developmental, and a joy to be a part of. I will miss his perspective, creativity, and passion for all sports, teams, coaches, and athletes who make up our Cub family. I wish him nothing but the best as he embarks on his next adventure…Center Grove High School is getting the best!” - Ashley Schutte, MCHS Swim Coach

“I was very fortunate to have Joe as a boss these last few years. He gave me great opportunities and is a friend for life. He is one of the best at what he does and I’ll love and miss him. Very rarely in life do you get to cross paths with people that change your life and Joe is one of those people. He will go on to do great things. We will all miss you!” - Adam Stotts, MCHS Cubs Basketball Coach

"Joe Bronkella is a great Athletic Director and most importantly, a great friend. He gave me the opportunity to be a Coach here at Madison and I can't thank him enough. The guidance and support he has provided over the past three years have been invaluable to me. We shared similar goals and expectations for the football program and I know he worked hard to help get us where we are today! I wish him nothing but success in his new position. I know he will make just as big an impact as he did here at Madison Consolidated Schools. Once a Cub, ALWAYS a Cub!" - Leroy Wilson, MCHS Cubs Football Coach

“Joe has been a great AD and forward thinker. Many things have improved since he became AD, especially facilities and the upgrade of the athletic training room. He will be missed.” - Dave Pappenheim - Madison Athletics Trainer

"I have so appreciated my time working with Mr. Bronkella. He has always made me feel supported and appreciated. I have been fortunate to work with some really great athletic directors and he is among them. I am extremely thankful for the work that he has done to update our facilities to make them among the best in southern Indiana. The goal is to leave any place better than you found it and I feel as if Joe has definitely done so. As sad as I am to see him leave, I pray for blessings among him and his family." - Adam Dennis, MCHS Lady Cubs Basketball Coach

While at Madison, Bronkella was involved as a representative with the IIAAA and is currently the President of the City of Madison Parks Board. He successfully navigated departure from the Hoosier Hills Conference to better align our teams for success through an independent approach to align with schools of similar size while implementing competitive schedules across all programs.

While Bronkella will take on new challenges and responsibilities, his wife, Colette, will remain in Madison where his daughters, Grace and Libby will finish high school as Cubs

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