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CHAMPAIGN — Josh and Krista Hinkley’s time as co-athletic directors at St. Thomas More was filled with steady work, generated by successful Saber competitors.

It resulted in great moments, such as a 2017 Class 2A volleyball state championship that Josh Hinkley said still gives him goosebumps when he discusses it.

But the husband-wife duo also had to balance their collective classroom duties in addition to roles at the head of a strong athletic program.

That busy lifestyle was the reason Josh Hinkley provided Tuesday for he and Krista’s choice to step aside as Saber co-ADs, effective at the end of this month.

“We’re both teachers at STM, so that’s a full-time job in and of itself,” Josh Hinkley said, “and we were both doing full time ... with athletics. We just, for us, decided that we needed to worry about us.”

The Hinkleys became co-ADs in May 2017 while Josh was a health and physical education instructor and Krista was an AP English teacher, academic positions they’d held since 2013 and 2007, respectively.

Krista now will teach English at Rantoul High School, and Josh will renew his leadership in special education at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Middle School.

Neither job includes athletic connections at this time, so the Hinkleys are enjoying their final four weeks overseeing STM sports.

“We’re doing our best to keep it in the best possible spot for whoever is the successor,” said Josh Hinkley, who added he doesn’t know who that might be. “And for the coaches and athletes.”

The Sabers slotted fourth and eighth in the last two News-Gazette Prep Year in Review program rankings, up from a share of 28th place during the school year prior to the Hinkleys’ co-AD ascension.

Among STM’s top performances in the Hinkleys’ two years at the helm were the aforementioned volleyball state crown, followed by a third-place effort in 2018, as well as a pair of fourth-place state showings from girls’ golf.

“The people in the community of St. Thomas More are phenomenal,” Josh Hinkley said. “There’s the parents, the students, the people in the building. ... They have a lot invested into it.”

The same could be said of the Hinkleys, who recognized the uniqueness of their work-home relationship.

“It was very interesting, especially doing that with my wife,” Josh Hinkley said. “Because of the long hours, it made it easier because we were there together. It wasn’t one of us away. We were able to share in that together.”

ORIGINAL STORY BEGINS HERE

CHAMPAIGN — St. Thomas More will need a new athletic director for the 2019-2020 school year, as co-ADs Josh and Krista Hinkley announced Monday afternoon they’ll be departing from their posts.

A tweet from the“It’s the first of the month Sabers! I haven’t spoken publicly about this, but as most of you know, this is our last month as Sabers.”

The tweet, which linked to a more expansive Instagram post, also noted “this was a very tough decision that was not taken lightly.”

Neither the tweet nor post indicated why the Hinkleys were vacating their co-AD positions after two years. Josh Hinkley wasn’t available for comment Monday and Sister M. Bridget Martin, STM’s principal, could not be reached on Monday.

Each Hinkley also has been an STM teacher for even longer — Krista since 2007 and Josh since 2013.

The Sabers have thrived athletically since the Hinkleys ascended to their co-AD spots in May 2017.

STM finished fourth and eighth in the last two News-Gazette Prep Year in Review program rankings, up from a share of 28th place during the 2016-17 school year.

Saber volleyball won a state championship in 2017 and placed third among the Class 2A field in 2018, while the STM girls’ golf team has placed fourth in state in 1A each of the last two seasons.

Prep Sports Coordinator

Colin Likas is prep sports coordinator at The News-Gazette. His email is clikas@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).