Valley’s sports director is taking an opportunity elsewhere

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, August 16, 2023

After nine years as the athletic director of Valley Parks and Recreation, Mark Hudmon is off to new beginnings in Auburn. 

Hudmon’s last day with Valley will be on Friday Aug. 18. Hudmon is originally from Valley, and he has been involved with parks and recreation in the area for a long time. 

“I worked in parks and rec in the 80s when it was back in the communities,” Hudmon said. “I worked at Riverview and Fairfax communities.” 

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After several years working in parks and recreation, he left to work in manufacturing mills. Hudmon’s role with Fairfax and Riverview was similar to the role he has served in Valley for the past nine years.

Going from working in his hometown to working in Auburn is going to be a major change for Hudmon, and there are several things he will miss about working in Valley. 

“I’m a Valley boy, so I know everybody,” Hudmon said. “If you’re from here, you know everybody, and I’m gonna miss that.” 

Hudmon has oversaw youth sports in Valley, and he has gotten to see the growth of the program and the kids. 

“There’s some kids that I’ve worked with that are probably two years out of high school now,” Hudmon said. “I’ll miss seeing them grow up, seeing what they accomplish from rec ball through high school, hopefully even into college.” 

Hudmon is heading to Auburn to serve as a sports coordinator for their parks and recreation department. His main reason for leaving is the opportunity for growth in a bigger area. 

“You just want to grow,” Hudmon said. “I think Auburn is a pretty big-sized community. I think it’d be fun to have a big group.” 

With Valley being a small area, participation can always be a challenge. Getting enough kids and parents signed up for leagues is not something he expects to struggle with in Auburn due to the population. Hudmon will also get the opportunity to work with new sports.

“I really haven’t had my hand in volleyball that much,” Hudmon said. “So, I’m excited about that part.” 

After working nearly a decade in his current position, Hudmon has several fond memories. Hudmon’s first memory in the rec department was when Valley got their new facilities. 

“When I first started here, this complex was totally reconstructed,” Hudmon said. “It was brand new. It caught everybody’s eye.” 

While in Valley, Hudmon has seen the growth of their youth sports program. Just this past summer, several teams competed in the state tournament for Dixie Youth. In 2019, Valley had a team win the Dixie Youth World Series. 

“That was a big highlight of my career,” Hudmon said. “Those kids are probably ninth graders now, and they’re still doing what they did then. They’re good athletes, and I want to watch them as they grow through high school, and I’m sure they’ll move into college and continue to play athletics.” 

The Valley Sportsplex has seen a large amount of growth in Hudmon’s tenure. In the past, the facility rarely hosted tournaments on the weekend. Now, the Parks and Recreation Department has stretches where they host weekend tournaments every week. 

The support of the community is not something that Hudmon takes lightly. That support was shown often this summer as different teams traveled to play in state tournaments. 

“We try to give them the best in every sport,” Hudmon said. “The community has supported our programs very well, and I hope they continue to do that.” 

Brett Tyson will be stepping into the role of athletic director for Valley Parks and Recreation. Tyson currently serves as the athletic coordinator, and the city is looking for someone to replace his position. 

Several people helped Hudmon during his tenure in Valley. On his way out, he has a lot of people to thank. 

“The mayor for sure and my coworkers,” Hudmon said. “Just people here in Valley that just kind of helped me along, volunteered a lot for coaching. Makes it a lot easier. Just appreciative of all of those people.”