Fayetteville Hires Heber Springs Coach As New Athletic Director

Posted on: 5:28 pm, December 19, 2013, by and , updated on: 10:16pm, December 19, 2013

About a month after former athletic director Barry Gebhart’s resignation was accepted, the Fayetteville School District hired Steve Janski’s as the district’s new athletic director, a school spokesman said Thursday.

Janski, the head football coach at Heber Springs, has also been that school district’s athletic director since 2005.

Janski beat out more than 30 other applicants for the job.

“I think excitement is the perfect word,” Janski told 5NEWS. “I am honored and humbled. It’s such a prestigious school, both athletically and academically.”

Other applicants included Fayetteville head football coach Daryl Patton, head basketball coach Kyle Adams and assistant football coach Timothy Miller. Among others who applied are Dale Harpenau, head baseball coach at University of Arkansas at Fort Smith; Timothy Miller, Fayetteville High’s assistant football coach; and Byron Zeagler, Fayetteville High School assistant principal, according to the application list.

Janski is bringing some Fayetteville ties back with him to the athletic director job. He was a graduate assistant coach at the University of Arkansas from 2000 to 2003 and said he is ready to return to Northwest Arkansas.

“I know the area. I know Fayetteville High School, and the University of Arkansas is right across the street,” he said. “The opportunity to be the athletic director was huge.”

Gebhart resigned in October following his arrest in an underage sex sting carried out by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

The School Board voted unanimously Nov. 21 to accept Gebhart’s resignation letter, which he turned in to the school district Oct. 25. The item passed 7-0.

Gebhart sent his resignation letter to school district administrators three days after being arrested in Rogers on suspicion of seeking a sexual relationship with who he thought was a 14-year-old girl, authorities said. Vicki Thomas, the district superintendent, accepted the athletic director’s resignation letter immediately.

Click here to read the arrest warrant affidavit for Barry Gebhart

Gebhart had been the athletic director since 2009. He served as head boys’ basketball coach at Fayetteville High for almost 18 years, from July 1992 to March 2010, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Gebhart’s annual salary was $101,917.72, records show.

The boys’ team won the state championship in 2009 after an undefeated season with Gebhart as head coach.