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HomeSportsPortage Parks Department hires new sports director

Portage Parks Department hires new sports director

Michael Schassburger, the Portage Parks Department’s new sports director. – Original Credit: City of Portage (Handout/HANDOUT)
After a seven-year wait, the Portage Parks Department has a new sports director.
The Redevelopment Commission is funding the initial year to get Michael Schassburger on board.
Interest in filling the position increased after the commission bought the former Portage Little League property and refurbished the fields so youth baseball could resume.
Schassburger said in a release he sees outstanding untapped potential for youth and adult sports in Portage.
“All the pieces have been there, they just have not been brought together,” he said.
Sports can bring the community together, Schassburger said. Youngsters learn about teamwork, competition and sportsmanship. Adults can develop lifelong relationships.
Schassburger pitched for the Munster High School baseball team before attending Ball State University, where he received a degree in sports administration with a minor in marketing.
He interned with Ripken Baseball — the same youth league run by the Portage Parks Department — last summer. Schassburger oversaw day-to-day operations at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. He got pointers from major leaguer Bill Ripken, younger brother of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, for whom the league is named.
Schassburger said he’s eager to develop new sports programs for the parks department. Current offerings include adult softball and volleyball and youth soccer and baseball.
His new role includes running leagues, managing personnel and overseeing the programs.
“I want to bring in the entire community and create new avenues of sports,” he said. Schassburger said he will boost the department’s online presence as well as conduct surveys to determine what the community wants.
“Everything works now, but I want to make it better. All the pieces for a premier sports program have been there, just not brought together,” he said.
Doug Ross is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.



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