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Devon Peterson

Madison West has named Devon Peterson as its new athletic director, Madison West principal Karen Boran announced Monday.

Peterson will begin her job July 2. She was chosen after interviews with more than 20 candidates.

Peterson recently has worked for the Indiana University athletics department, including serving as assistant director of compliance/rules education and assistant director of service learning and community engagement. She also has worked in the NCAA office.

Peterson, from Poway, California, was on the Indiana women's water polo team from 2012-15.

Greg Valaskey has served as interim athletic director at West since March. Valaskey replaced Torrance Hill, who stepped down in February after being on the job less than a year. Hill accepted the job in May, 2017, and started work in July, 2017.

“After a thorough multi-stage process to gather feedback and perspectives from the stakeholders at West and the district, we are excited to announce that West High School’s new athletic director will be Devon Peterson,” Boran said in a message sent to those in the West community. “A huge thank you to Greg Valaskey for his work and support in the interim position this spring.

“We interviewed over 20 candidates and Devon received the highest scores in every round due to her communication skills, her ability to articulate a long-term vision, her understanding of the change process and her passion for working with student-athletes.

“Devon has experience in a similar high school to West as a student in San Diego, she has sought out challenges and leadership opportunities in her schooling and in her career choices and has demonstrated the ability to articulate and implement systems in athletics, which will foster student-athletes in the image of our MMD Graduate Profile.”

Boran added: “We are excited to work with Devon as she makes the changes necessary for our students to be exemplary athletes and competitors as well as exceptional academic scholars.

The Regents also introduced Jaime Vareka as the new boys volleyball coach.

Vareka has been coaching for the past six years. She started coaching for the Madison Elite Volleyball girls program and has been assisting with developing the boys program. She’s also been coaching the USA Volleyball High Performance program for the past four years and the past year she was asked to work with the men’s program in Chicago. She has worked at West for the past three years and previously was Oregon girls volleyball coach.

Cory Hayden was announced last week as new girls cross country coach for the Regents. His experience in cross country began in 1997. He competed in high school, college and after college and he has 11 years of coaching experience at the high school and collegiate level.

Hayden replaces Lee Ann Johnson, who stepped down after 25 years. When she took over as coach in 1993, there were fewer than 15 girls competing on the team. The roster now often has about 100 girls per season. West won 11 city titles, five conference crowns, seven sectional titles and nine state appearances under Johnson, according to provided information. 

West also recently added Phil Friedl as girls volleyball coach.

Bucky!

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Jon Masson covers high school sports for the Wisconsin State Journal. He has covered a variety of sports — including the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin men's and women's basketball and volleyball — since he first came to the State Journal in 1999.