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Changing of the guard: Ridenour retires, Lantz takes over Angola athletic department

By Eric Dutkiewicz, 06/05/19, 9:30PM EDT

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Angola athletic director/assistant principal Mark Ridenour, left, is retiring after 42 years in education. Steve Lantz, right, will take over the position this summer

ANGOLA, Ind. – For Mark Ridenour, retirement is summed up in the opportunity to have a good meal on a Friday night.

The longtime Angola High School athletic director will step down when the school year ends in the coming days.

“I’ve been fortunate to work for some great superintendents, boards and principals,” Ridenour, who has also served as the high school’s assistant principal, tells ParkviewSportsMedicine.com. “That’s the key to longevity in a job.”

Ridenour’s longevity boasts of 42 years as a teacher, coach and administrator. The last 30 years have been in the Metropolitan School District of Steuben County. He spent 12 years at his alma mater, Prairie Heights, before that.

From 1989 to 2004, he was an athletic director and assistant principal at neighboring Angola Middle School. In 2004, he was elevated to the same position at the high school level.

In that time, Angola has become one of the top-performing high school athletic programs in the entire region. The Hornets have won at least 5 or more conference titles each year since 2015-2016. This year, Angola accumulated 7 conference titles and 5 sectional titles.

“I’m most proud of all my coaches working together,” Ridenour adds. The success we’ve had this year is a culmination of a lot of work.”

Succeeding Ridenour is Steve Lantz, whose hiring was approved May 21 by the MSD of Steuben County school board. Lantz has worked his way through the Angola Middle School ranks over the last 15 years--as a teacher, coach, and athletic director/assistant principal.

“It’s always been a dream,” Lantz says of his new gig. “I’m extremely grateful to take over as Angola athletic director and follow Mark Ridenour.”

The transition from one athletic director to another has been a relatively seamless one, Lantz says. He expresses no drastic changes to the daily running of the athletic office. In the near future, he hopes to start an athletic booster club. Farther down the road, he hopes to develop longterm plans for athletic facilities.

“Steve’s been training for this position for a while,” Ridenour adds. “I feel really comfortable that Steve will do a fantastic job.”

“This area has a strong community base that supports athletics and the schools,” Lantz says. “We have tremendous teachers and tremendous coaches. It’s a strong school system supported by the community. It can only get stronger.”

Angola is one of 26 area high schools that partners with Parkview Sports Medicine for athletic training, sports performance, nutrition, athletic rehabilitation and other orthopedic services. Learn more at ParkviewSportsMedicine.com.