Oswald excited to give back to Monticello

Jacob Oswald
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Jacob Oswald, formerly of Monticello, currently residing in Dubuque, will soon begin his new full-time position as the director of Monticello’s Parks and Recreation Department. Oswald said he is targeting a March 1 start-date.

     His starting salary will be $48,000.

     As director, his job will entail overseeing departmental programming and scheduling events at the various facilities.

     Oswald, the son of Joe and Denise Oswald, is looking forward to bringing his own family back to Monticello.

     “Monticello has always been home to me and has always had a special place in my heart,” he said. When the Parks and Rec position opened up, Oswald said he knew he had to jump at the chance to apply.

     “We couldn’t think of a better place to raise our daughter,” he added.

     Of returning to his hometown, Oswald said, “The people here helped shape who I am as a person today, and we want nothing more than for our daughter to be raised in a supportive community.”

     Oswald is no stranger to athletics. While attending Monticello High School (he graduated in 2006), Oswald played basketball, baseball, golf and football. During his senior year, he volunteered his time for Parks and Rec.

     Oswald went on to attend Wartburg College, earning a degree in fitness management.

     “With that degree, I spent time at recreational centers in Cedar Rapids and Waverly, running various programs for kids,” he explained.

     Oswald then earned a master’s degree in coaching education from Ohio University.

     “This allowed me to gain more experience in the operations side of sports,” he said.

     Oswald has had quite the budding career thus far. From 2010-15 he was the assistant basketball coach at Wartburg College. From there, he spent a year working with the Dallas Mavericks pro-basketball team as the Player Development Intern. Now, Oswald is the assistant basketball coach at Loras College.

     In addition, for the past 10 years, Oswald has spent time as a counselor at Snow Valley Basketball School in Waverly. The camp works with both boys and girls, ages 5-12.

     After coaching at the collegiate level for eight years, Oswald said there is one thing that has always stood out for him as to why he chose this profession: to be a positive influence in young men’s lives.

     During his time with the Dallas Mavericks, Oswald said he really took the opportunity to do some soul searching.

     “I was trying to figure out what the next step for me would be when I moved back to Iowa,” he said. “The one thing that kept coming to the forefront was, ‘You have to do something where you are having an impact in young people’s lives.’”

     He said different career opportunities came to mind, but director of Parks and Rec moved to the top of his list.

     Short-term, Oswald plans to continue running programming currently offered through Parks and Rec. He said he wants to look at those programs that are successful in terms of participation, and what could be done differently to increase the numbers with other programming.

     Looking down the road, long-term, Oswald wants to see more people of all ages involved in recreation in Monticello, young and old. He said he wants to see adults participate more.

     “I would love to look into anything that the community has an interest in,” he said. “I want people to bring different activities/ideas to our attention.”

     He also wants to introduce more programming for youth.

     “I want to toss around some ideas around to get entire families out and active.”

     Oswald said he’s excited about this new opportunity in his life, and looks forward to working with all members of the Monticello community.

     In a statement from City Administrator Doug Herman on behalf of the city council regarding the changes to Parks and Rec.: “The council’s decision to increase departmental staffing will allow for not only expanded programming but improved quality of programming. I am confident that Jacob (Oswald) will hit the ground running with new and improved programming for all Monticello residents from children to young adults to our more mature residents. Our aim will be to provide recreation opportunities for everyone and input will be welcome.”

     Herman also praised Tami Bartram, outgoing Parks and Rec director, for her years of service in Monticello. “Tami has a heart of gold, was great with the kids, worked hard, and was dedicated to the department. I wish her the best moving forward.”


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