BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The Mountaineers have been successful in sports while building their programs, and behind the scenes is Everest Collegiate High School and Academy Athletic Director Ann Lowney.
The hard work has paid off as Lowney was recently inducted into the Catholic High School League Hall of Fame at the 44th Annual Hall of Fame dinner, June 10.
“I was very excited,” Lowney said when she heard the news. “It was something that had been on my radar because it’s such a special group of people. The thought I was going to join a lot of my fellow colleagues and friends meant a lot to me.”
Lowney became athletic director when it was just Everest Academy and built the athletic program from the ground up for Everest Collegiate High School when it opened in 2008.
“It’s been fun,” she said, about building the program. “To have my thumb print on everything has been nice.”
Lowney added it was made possible with friends she has in the Catholic High School League Hall of Fame.
“If I wouldn’t have had the friendships before at the beginning to form the co-ops it would have never happened,” she said. “When I look at Everest Athletics it’s really a accumulation of people helping Everest – other Catholic schools, other ADs and really my great group of coaches I am so blessed with to work with every day. When you look at the size of our school, the number of kids and the credentials of my coaches it’s really mind boggling how talented they are. We coach because we have a mission and want to help the kids. I am just blessed to be surrounded by so many of those kind of people.”
She looks forward to Everest’s future and hopefully adding more programs.
“You always hope you can increase your enrollment so you can add programs,” Lowney noted. “I know there are some kids who wish there were other sports we offer. Unfortunately you really have to pick and choose the season you are doing it because with only so many kids if I add too many Everest-based sports I am going to hurt another sport. My hope is I can continue to find co-ops for these sports. There are sports for these kids to still participate outside of Everest, the ones with the clubs, those are the ones you hope to have clubs for but if you can’t at least you know those kids can still participate it’s just not for their school.”
She added co-ops have helped and Everest was able to add girls golf for another season because she found a co-op with the Academy of Sacred Heart.
She also coaches the boys varsity team. Lowney had previously coached at Our Lady of the Lakes, 1989-1990; Birmingham Seaholm, 1995-1996; and Clarkston High School, 1997-2004; before arriving at Everest in 2005 where she started out teaching physical education classes for the girls.
“It lasted two months when their current athletic director at the academy resigned,” she said, adding she was called into the office and asked if she wanted the job because the administration knew she had a Masters in Athletic Administration.
“It was my ultimate goal after getting my masters,” Lowney said. “I happened to be at the right spot at the right time.”
What led her to Everest initially were her three children, Grace, Mitch and Serra.
“My sister had her children there and she just talked so highly of it,” Ann shared. “So when they were getting ready for preschool, we visited and really liked it. For me I like the faith-based education my children got. It reminded me of the Catholic education my parents got. I knew if my kids were grounded in the Catholic faith, they would be good kids and good adults. Though they may wander some day, they have it rooted in them that they will always come back to their faith – it was very important to me as a mother.”
Lowney was named the 2013 CHSL Athletic Director of the Year and was named the 2012 and 2013 Intersectional II Coach of the Year.
Under her leadership, the boys varsity basketball team has won CHSL and district championship titles.