A name well known in the William Floyd School District takes the reins of athletics for the entire district. Brian Babst, a former three-sport all-county star for Floyd, has also played the role of health and physical education teacher, football coach, chairperson of physical education and athletics, and now athletic director.
“I graduated 23 years ago, and now I am in charge of all athletics in the district. It really is an amazing experience that I have been through and had here at Floyd.”
Babst was the captain of the varsity football, basketball, and lacrosse teams during high school.
“I was a kid that just loved sports. I wanted to play and do as much as I can. I was fortunate enough to be part of two unbelievable coaches in Paul Longo and Bob Hodgson, who always had the gyms open and always here and available.”
Babst ended up playing football at SUNY Cortland, a two-way starter all four years as a wide receiver and safety. While at the school, he broke the record for receiving yards and posted second all-time statistics for receptions and receiving touchdowns.
“It was an amazing experience,” Babst said. “It felt a little different to wear a different color besides green. Wearing the red and white was always an uncomfortable feeling for me for a long time. Even now, anything red feels funny to me.”
He said he has lived in the Floyd community since kindergarten, aside from his four years at SUNY Cortland. Babst said that the community is special to him.
“As a kid and a student here, I had so many positive relationships, whether it was the teachers or coaches or even administration,” he said. “It is really an honor and a blessing for me to be able to come back here and work. The idea of going anywhere else has never really crossed my mind. I was fortunate enough to get a position here right out of college as a young teacher. I love it here.”
Over his 13-year bout as an assistant varsity football coach serving under his own high school varsity coach Paul Longo, Babst helped lead the team to 10 Suffolk County Championships and 5 Long Island Championships.
“We have had a very successful program over the last 20 years,” he said of the district’s football program.
And Babst has worked as the chairperson for physical education and athletics for the last six years. His 19th year working in the district, Babst said that becoming the athletic director is a dream come true.
“It was never a position I aspired to be. I always just wanted to be a teacher and a coach,” Babst said. “As I kind of work through the system and move myself up, I find myself working with more people and as a whole crew and taking a natural leadership role as a teacher and coach, working with young coaches.
“When the chair position became available, I really expanded my horizons in the administrative and leadership side of it. I feel like I was able to be in contact and work with so many more kids and affect so many more kids that it kind of became a natural transition into the athletic director role,” Babst added.
In 2007, while coaching for the district, Babst was inducted into the William Floyd Athletic Hall of Fame. The year 2007 was the first class of inductees into the Hall of Fame.
“It is an incredible honor for my accomplishments as an athlete in high school and college to be recognized,” Babst said, adding that he is extremely grateful for the full support from his wife, Meredith, and kids, Brendan, 9, and Julia, 8.
Babst said that he is extremely excited, sliding into the position on August 4, the beginning of this academic year.
“It is an honor and a pleasure to work with a great group of teachers and coaching staff,” he said.