Lewis to become Columbus North athletic director
Former IU football standout moving from Missouri to Indiana to oversee Bull Dogs’ program
Brian Lewis is set to become the next athletic director at Columbus North High School, principal David Clark announced Monday (June 29).
Lewis has been given a letter of assurance regarding his appointment, but his hiring will not be official until it is approved at a Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation meeting on July 21.
An Indiana University graduate, Lewis comes to Columbus North after serving the past eight years as an assistant athletic director at Mary Institute & Country Day School in St. Louis, Mo. He previously was an assistant football coach for four seasons at DeSmet Jesuit High School in St. Louis and an assistant football coach and assistant girls’ basketball coach for two seasons at Pattonville High School in Maryland Heights, Mo.
He moved to MICDS in 2012, where he has served as an assistant football coach, a middle school physical education teacher and director of summer sports camps in addition to his duties as an assistant athletic director for the independent private school that serves about 1,250 students from pre-kindergarten through high school.
“I am very excited about this opportunity,” said Lewis, 40, who was named winner of the MICDS Extra Effort Award for athletics and teaching in the 2019-2020 academic year. “Coming in and being the face of the athletic department, I want to represent Columbus North the best that I can. I also want parents to know that I have their child’s best interest at heart, athletically and educationally.”
Clark said that Columbus North is fortunate to have had Lewis seek its open position.
“Brian’s experience as an assistant athletic director will serve him well as he transitions to lead the Bull Dog Nation’s athletic department,” Clark said. “His strength in building relationships with student-athletes will allow us to maintain a highly competitive athletic program.”
Lewis noted his first order of business will be to make sure that Columbus North programs are abiding by BCSC guidelines with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. But he also wants to see the Bull Dogs continue their history of success.
“The COVID-19 situation has dug a hole into athletics, so we have to do what’s best for our student-athletes in taking temperatures and all the other details in reentry (to athletics),” Lewis said. “My job is to make sure everyone is respecting the rules and guidelines.
“Long term, I hope to see Columbus North continue to have great coaches who will develop student-athletes physically, mentally and emotionally. We are to be education based, first and foremost. But at same time, you play games to win and we want to pursue state championships. We also want to try to develop our student-athletes into leaders and make sure that our student-athletes are better when they leave than when they arrived.”
While Lewis was at MICDS, the Rams captured 12 Missouri State High School Activities Association state championships. They included four state titles in boys tennis (2013 Class 1, 2014 Class 1, 2015 Class 1 and 2016 Class 1); two in boys golf (2013 Class 3 and 2016 Class 3); two in girls golf (2014 Class 1 and 2015 Class 1); two in girls track (2016 Class 4 and 2018 Class 4); one in baseball (2016 Class 4); and one in cross country (2019 Class 3).
In 2019-2020, MICDS successes included the aforementioned Class 3 state crown in girls cross country as well as a 15th-place state finish in girls swimming, a state appearance in girls tennis, a top-10 state ranking in boys soccer and a Metro League Conference championship in boys basketball.
At DeSmet, Lewis was an assistant football coach for the Spartans’ 2005 Missouri Class 6 state championship.
“I feel like this is the perfect job for me,” Lewis said of becoming the CNHS athletic director. “The program has had a lot of success, and I think my personality and vision will continue to drive Columbus North in the right direction.”
A 1999 graduate of Pattonville, Lewis was a football star while also competing in basketball and track & field. He had three 1,000-yard rushing seasons, 25 games of 100 yards or more, twice earned Missouri all-state honors and totaled 4,954 career rushing yards in high school. He was ranked as the nation’s 22nd best football prep prospect by The Sporting News.
Lewis went on to attend IU, where he was a member of the Hoosiers’ football program for five years. After redshirting as a freshman, Lewis competed for four seasons as running back. He rushed for 1,321 yards and seven touchdowns on 282 carries while playing in 34 games and starting 16 games in his career. He also had 21 receptions for 197 yards and one TD with the Hoosiers and also served as a team captain for the 2003 Hoosiers.
Lewis’ top game at IU came on Oct. 11, 2003, when he ran for 128 yards on 21 carries against Northwestern. He also produced three other 100-yard rushing games – 121 yards on 25 carries against Iowa on Oct. 19, 2002; 116 yards on 17 carries against Kentucky on Sept. 20, 2003; and 101 yards on 16 carries against Central Michigan on Sept. 21, 2002.
Lewis earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Indiana in 2011. He added a master’s degree in athletic administration from William Woods University in 2017.
“I’m a laid-back person, but I have a passion for athletics,” Lewis said. “I did a lot of research, and I took this job because I feel strongly about the community. My family and I are looking forward to becoming a part of it.”
Lewis’ wife, Emily, is from Indiana. The couple has two children – Maxwell, 10, and Cecilia, who turns 7 in July.
Lewis becomes the 12th athletic director in the history of Columbus High/Columbus North and succeeds Jeff Hester in the position. Hester, who accepted a position as assistant athletic director at Carmel in May, was the Bull Dogs’ athletic director from 2008 through 2020.
Previous athletic directors at Columbus High/Columbus North have included Fred Busenburg (1914-1921), Clifford Wells (1921-1922), William Dobbins (1922-1927), Wilkie Moody (1927-1930), Walter Hall (1930-1936), Frank Newsom (1936-1941), George Boots (1941-1942), Noel Genth (1942-1952), Bill Stearman (1955-1998) and Hedy George (1998-2008). Columbus High had no athletic director from 1952-1955.
Columbus North will hold a “meet-and-greet” session for the public from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 9 in the Athletic Conference Room. In line with BCSC policy, those attending should wear a face covering and abide by social distancing guidelines.
COLUMBUS HIGH/COLUMBUS NORTH
Athletic Director (1914-present)
1914-1921: Fred Busenburg
1921-1922: Clifford Wells
1922-1927: William Dobbins
1927-1930: Wilkie Moody
1930-1936: Walter Hall
1936-1941: Frank Newsom
1941-1942: George Boots
1942-1952: Noel Genth
1955-1998: Bill Stearman
1998-2008: Hedy George
2008-2020: Jeff Hester
2020-present: Brian Lewis
BRIAN LEWIS: YEAR-BY-YEAR INDIANA UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL STATISTICS
Season GP-GS Rush Net TD Lg Rec Yds TD Lg
2000 11-5 67 373 3 43 5 53 0 29
2001 11-1 21 92 1 17 2 7 0 5
2002 6-4 104 458 0 32 11 100 1 21
2003 6-6 90 398 3 42 3 37 0 17
Total 34-16 282 1321 7 43 21 197 1 29
MICDS State Level Finishes in Missouri (2012-2020)
Baseball (spring): 2016 Class 4 champion.
Girls Basketball (winter): 2015 Class 4 runner-up and 2016 Class 4 runner-up.
Boys Cross Country (fall): 2013 Class 3 fourth place.
Girls Cross Country (fall): 2013 Class 3 fourth place; 2014 Class 3 fourth place; 2015 Class 3 third place; 2019 Class 3 champion.
Football (fall): 2018 Class 4 runner-up.
Boys Golf (spring): 2012 Class 3 runner-up; 2013 Class 3 champion; 2014 Class 3 third place; 2015 Class 3 runner-up; 2016 Class 3 champion; 2019 Class 3 runner-up.
Girls Golf (fall): 2013 Class 1 runner-up; 2014 Class 1 champion; 2015 Class 1 champion; 2016 Class 2 runner-up; 2017 Class 2 third place; 2018 Class 1 third place.
Girls Swimming (winter): 2019 Class 1 runner-up.
Boys Tennis (spring): 2013 Class 1 champion; 2014 Class 1 champion; 2015 Class 1 champion; 2016 Class 1 champion; 2019 Class 1 runner-up.
Girls Tennis (fall): 2015 Class 1 runner-up; 2016 Class 1 third place; 2017 Class 1 third place.
Girls Track (spring): 2016 Class 4 champion; 2017 Class 4 runner-up; 2018 Class 4 champion; 2019 Class 4 fourth place.