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Wilkens named new Salem A.D.
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The Salem High Athletic Department is under transition again.

Salem has made a change to its fourth athletic director in three years as former men's basketball coach Darren Wilkens takes over for Maurice Gibson.

Gibson who was hired in 2010 after Bill Roberts took over the position from Jim McBrayer who retired in May of 2010. Wilkens was announced the newest Salem Seminoles' A.D. Monday, and will officially take over beginning with the 2012-13 school year.

"When coach Gibson announced he wasn't coming back I was asked my interest in position," Wilkens said. "I've been coaching 23 years and thought it would be a good idea to try something different. Having been in athletics for a long time, I thought it might be a good change of pace."

While Wilkens takes over a new post, his old one will be manned by Noah Harrell, who was named boys' head coach Wednesday. Harrell served as Wilkens' assistant at Salem throughout the last four years.

"I think he'll do a good job," Wilkens said. "He's very young and energetic; he has a desire to learn the game and learn more. We've been going to several clinics as a staff, he's gotten ideas from other coaches and he's been out on the circuit talking to other people so he's ready. He's been a good assistant. For the last four years he's worked very hard, I think he's ready."

Wilkens also feels he's ready for the next step in his career, serving as athletics director. Among the things he's looking to accomplish as the head of athletics at Salem is making sure the other coaches get what they need to help make the Salem Seminoles be successful.

"I want to sit down and talk to the coaches to see what I may need to do to help them," Wilkens said. I want to increase school spirit in athletics and attendance at games and those types of things. I want to see what areas they need to improve on, they're the ones that are in the battlefield everyday."

Gibson, who had a peaceful split with the school, doesn't yet know what he'll do next.

"There was no ill will, it wasn't a job performance issue I wasn't disgruntled, it wasn't one of those things," Gibson said. "For personal reasons it was time for me to move on."

Gibson, a former manager at Black and Decker and MBA graduate of Kennesaw State, added that he thinks Salem made a good choice in his successor.

"Darren Wilkens is a good friend of mine," Gibson said. "He is going to do a good job and has my full support. I'm looking for him to do great things.