• Spring Break from April 8th-12th.
  • HSSC Baseball Game @Samsung Lions Park on April 4th.
  • [HS] Friendly Match Soccer vs. DMHS @Camp Walker on April 2nd.
  • Don't forget your spirit shirts on Friday.
The Student News Site of Daegu International School

Jets Flyover

Daegu International School's student news site
  • Spring Break from April 8th-12th.
  • HSSC Baseball Game @Samsung Lions Park on April 4th.
  • [HS] Friendly Match Soccer vs. DMHS @Camp Walker on April 2nd.
  • Don't forget your spirit shirts on Friday.
The Student News Site of Daegu International School

Jets Flyover

The Student News Site of Daegu International School

Jets Flyover

One-on-one with the new AD 

Athletic director Mr.Bergan hits a home-run with additional local games and KISAC tourneys

With extra work on his plate, Mr. Bergan juggles the classroom and his new position as athletic director. So far, the former baseball player is batting a 1000. In this extensive feature, he recounts the challenges and changes of his career: how he balances responsibilities and plans tournaments. Plus he delves into future aspirations of our sports program. 

What does an athletic director do? 

Mr. Bergan: So as an athletic director, some of my main responsibilities are to make sure that we’re scheduling at appropriate times and making sure that we’re not interfering with MAP testing for our SKAC and KISAC events. I also work with Ms. Sumin in the Korean office to make sure that we’re communicating with the bus companies. She does a great job of getting the food orders ready. I communicate with her and also meet with athletic directors from other schools to talk about rules that we want to see put in place and about how tournaments are going. This year we will be hosting a little bit more. When we host, we’re responsible for getting referees, making sure that we have workers for the tables, and then also setting up the schedule. Those are kind of the main points of what the athletic director is kind of in charge of, on top of just monitoring the teams and the practices and making sure that everybody has what they need with supplies and whatnot.

Coach Bergan discusses news strategies with his team in the HS Volleyball Busan Invitational on October 28th. The air is tense as the two schools plan for their next game. Photo by Flora Chung.

You used to be only an MS/HS history teacher. What caused the change in heart? 

Mr. Bergan: I only used to be a middle school and high school history teacher, with some coaching along the way. I coached and taught in the United States so sports have always kind of been a big part of what I’ve done. When the athletic director job came open, I thought it would be an interesting opportunity to get even more involved in sports and try to bring some new ideas. So I decided to apply and was able to get the job. It’s been busy, but I’ve been enjoying it. 

Did you have any issues adjusting to balancing your different responsibilities? 

Mr. Bergan: Yes, it’s been a big adjustment because not only am I doing what I was doing, but I’m also coaching while doing these athletic director responsibilities. It’s a tough balance of finding time to do my job as a teacher while also running my practices for my teams, getting the schedules ready, and making sure that we have all the proper steps taken in place for all the other teams that I’m not coaching to get where they need to be and to be successful. So it has taken an adjustment, still adjusting, but it’s been good. 

Have there been any hardships in managing SKAC?

Mr. Bergan: The hardest thing with SKAC is there are just differing sizes of schools. Right now we are the second largest, I believe, school in SKAC behind ISB. But there are some schools that only have like 60 students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. So they’re in just different positions when it comes to the number of kids that they have and the distance that some of their kids have to travel. The difficult thing is just trying to get everybody on SKAC to agree to the same rules. It’s a great opportunity not only for sports, but also MUN and the STEM Fair. But there are some hardships that go along with it.

What is your personal history with sports? 

Mr. Bergan: I’ve played sports my entire life. Started playing baseball, I think, when I was five years old, basketball shortly after that. I’ve played football. I’ve run cross country and track. I played in high school. I played a little bit in college. Then pretty much right away when I got into teaching, I started coaching. It’s something that I’ve been doing almost every day in some way or shape or form for almost 30 years now. 

What is your personal favorite sport to play?

Mr. Bergan: I would say probably my favorite sport to play is baseball. I know a lot of people can find it boring, but when you’re out there on the field with your teammates and you’re able to just play in the nice hot weather of the summer, it feels great.  It’s a challenging sport. Sometimes you can’t just rely on athleticism in order to be successful at it. So I would say baseball is my favorite sport. 

Who are your favorite pro athletes and why?

Mr. Bergan: My favorite growing up was Michael Jordan, of course. Part of that was because he was so amazing and part of it was because he was on TV all the time. I only had three channels when I was growing up, so I didn’t have many options to watch. If you watched anything about him, he could definitely be a jerk, but he just wanted to be successful at any cost. And I like good teammates – teammates that want success for the team and push their teammates to be successful. 

What sports or exercise do you do now as hobbies outside of DIS?

Mr. Bergan: Right now, really the only thing I do for sports is a softball league in the spring/summer here in Daegu. Softball is like baseball, just with a different ball that you play with. I was doing some running this summer, but now I’m gonna get a little bit more into weightlifting. Those are the kinds of things that I’m gonna be doing as my exercise and sports outside of coaching. 

I heard you enjoy running. What is your biggest advice to someone who wants to run long distances?

Mr. Bergan: Well, I actually ran a half marathon. Mr. Gall and Miss Spaeth ran the 10K. It was very difficult. I would say if you’re going to run a 10K or a half marathon or a marathon, you have to dedicate yourself to training, and you have to stick with that training. My problem was, about the last three weeks, I kind of got lazy after Chuseok and didn’t continue my training, which made that half marathon very difficult for me to finish at the time that I was hoping to finish it. If you want to challenge yourself with those races, you definitely have to dedicate yourself to a training program. 

How has your past experience with sports and coaching helped prepare you for being AD? 

Mr. Bergan: You know, understanding the stress that coaching can bring with having to prepare practices, having to kind of have a knowledge of the sport, and just having knowledge of traveling to games, all that stuff is great. Just knowing what needs to be done has helped. I’ve also had some ideas that could be brought up to make some changes that can make things a little bit easier. But just knowing what sports is like for the players and the coaches and just trying to make it as enjoyable as possible has really helped me with this AD role.

What changes have you made as the new AD? What changes do you plan to make in the future?

Mr. Bergan: Last year, Mrs. Jolly and Mr. Jolly started to set up more of KISAC and we got more involved with that. So it’s not really a change that I’ve made, but it’s something that I’ve kind of continued. But one of the things that we’ve added this year was games with the base school at DMHS. I think the kids have really enjoyed it because it’s just another opportunity to play. It’s in the city, so we don’t have to take long bus rides. I’ve also tried to set up some friendly matches with local elementary schools and we’ve set up a friendly futsal match with FPS. It was just trying to get more playing opportunities outside of two tournaments for the kids. What other changes? Really that’s about it: just continuing to have more games. That’s the main change that I’m trying to make. 

Of course, you know, we want to be successful. We want to win trophies, we want to win banners, but the big thing is just growing the sports and improving the skills of the kids. You improve the skills of the kids and hopefully, the trophies and banners follow. Still, we want to make it enjoyable for the kids. Sports, it should be about trying to achieve success, but more so it should be about friends and having fun while trying to accomplish those goals.

Mr.Bergan proudly calls his volleyball players to stand up in the MS HS Winter Assembly after another successful season. The crowd goes wild with cheers for all the victories throughout the school year. Photo by Anna Yoon.

You introduced friendly matches with DMHS. How did that happen? Was there any difficulty in getting players on to the base?

Mr. Bergan: Last year I finally got in contact with their former AD. He’s gone now, but I was finally able to get in contact with him and talk about how we’d really like to set up some games. They were very excited because most of their games are in Seoul, so it was an opportunity for them to play closer games. We just looked at our schedules, what common sports we had, and just tried to pick some dates that would work for both of us.

I’ve been working with the new AD this year to make sure that we’ve got everything lined up. So far there hasn’t been any difficulty. There is a process that you have to do. I have to get the names of our students. I have to get their passport numbers. I have to get their Korean ID numbers and I have to get all that to the base a little over a week in advance. So there hasn’t been any difficulty. Nobody’s been turned away. It’s just a lot of work getting that information and making sure that it’s all written correctly so that way there are no issues.

Take us through the process of planning a SKAC match.

Mr. Bergan: So if we have to host, I will send out a Google sheet to all the schools that are in SKAC and I’ll ask how many teams they plan on bringing; Are they planning on bringing an A team and a B team? Sometimes they have multiple teams in those divisions; Is it boys, girls? And then once I know all of the schools that are coming then I get into the process of making the schedule. Each schedule’s gonna be different – it depends on how many teams are going to be there. Is it gonna be round robin, is it gonna be pool play? Then once I have all the schedules set, then I’ve got to make sure if it’s finals, I’ve got to get trophies ordered. I got to make sure that we have refs if it’s a middle and high school. So that’s kind of the process. When the day comes, I just kind of go over the rules with everybody and then just kind of walk around and just make sure that there are no issues with rules or no arguments. At the end, we have the trophy ceremony and send everybody on their way.

Who helps you the most with your job? Talk about that a little bit.

Mr. Bergan: A lot of people help me out. You know, we have a good group of coaches right now. But definitely, Ms. Sumin does an amazing job in the office. She’s the go-between, between me and the supply company. She’s the go-between, between me and the bus and the travel agency for KISAC due to the language. I mean, she and I are talking every day trying to just make sure that we have everything done for the kids. It’s all about making the kids have these memories. And so it’s definitely Ms. Sumin in the office. 

If SKAC grows and you could add sports to it, what sports would you add and why?

Mr. Bergan: Well I know that we have two groups right now that have kind of talked about wanting to add sports. Badminton – we have a lot of kids that are interested in badminton. Last year it wasn’t an official SKAC badminton tournament but we had something and we had a lot of kids interested in playing. We had a lot of kids that have asked to do that again. Right now, SKAC is not willing or wanting to make it an official sport. I would say that one. And then I know that there are a lot of groups or a lot of boys in the high school that are interested in baseball. So I think between those two sports. You gotta find sports that you would have enough kids to participate in. Right now I think those are the two that would be the most likely to happen. There’s also eSports, which Mr.Hinkle is trying to develop as well.

Athletic director Bergan commemorates the first DIS inter-school badminton tournament on May 27 2023. The winners triumphantly hold up their medals. Photo by Jamila Karam and Aiden Chae.

What are your final words?

Mr. Bergan: I just appreciate everybody’s help in trying to grow DIS athletics between the players, the coaches, the fans, and the staff. I know there’s a lot of times kids are missing, but everybody’s been working really well to accommodate and I really appreciate it.

The high school boys’ volleyball team and coach Bergan celebrate their 2023-2024 SKAC championship on stage with a trophy. Photo by Hailey Tzou.

With Director Bergan’s inspirational words, we blew the final whistle on our conversation. Students sometimes forget to appreciate the tremendous effort that goes into planning tournaments behind the scenes. We hope that the hidden figures receive the credit they deserve. In the meantime, make sure to follow his sound advice: improve your skills and enjoy yourselves and the trophies and banners will follow. 

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About the Contributors
Eugene Sung, Writer
Caffeine addict Eugene Sung rejoins the Jets Flyover team as a writer in his junior year at Daegu International School. His short attention span and passion for exploration means he ventures around Daegu often to visit local cafes and see the sights. His love for traveling inspires most of his writing, as he often journals about his experiences. He hopes to bring this curious spirit to the Flyover as a writer to take interesting pictures, meet new people, and discover captivating locations.

Aiden Chae, Photographer / Designer
Aiden Chae, a senior at DIS, pursues his enthusiasm for photography as a second year member of the Jets Flyover. At fifteen, his interest in business motivated him to create a successful startup that earned him honorable recognition. He wishes to use his skills to demonstrate a range of narratives and publish his photos in the yearbook and newspaper.
Anna Yoon, Writer
Since elementary school, Anna Yoon soaked up music and sports like a sponge. Skiing, volleyball, and the flute truly pique her interest.  As first chair in the orchestra and vice president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, Anna proves that nothing can stop her once she puts her mind to it. Her diligence breaks through in multiple opportunities to volunteer and enter ski and research competitions outside of school. This year, video editing tops her list of goals. She extends her love of AP Psychology into the articles that she pens for the Flyover.
Hailey Tzou, Photographer / Designer
As a first year member of the Jets Flyover staff and a DIS veteran, Hailey knows the ins and outs of school events. She loves every sport including volleyball, basketball, and futsal. Through her previous experiences in winning several SKAC tournaments, she looks forward to taking active pictures. In her free time, Hailey enjoys watching movies, hanging out with her friends, and spending time with her cats. Hoping to bring a positive impact to the team, she takes the role of a photographer, designer, and editor.
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  • P

    PaulFeb 15, 2024 at 6:28 pm


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    joshFeb 15, 2024 at 6:26 pm

    I didn’t know that Mr. Bergan became a basketball coach like this. It’s quite interesting