Seymour’s new parks and recreation depart- ment director has experience in coaching and management and plans to work with city officials to improve quality of life for current and future residents.

Mayor Craig Luedeman announced Friday the appointment of Bob Tabeling of Seymour to the position. Tabeling and his wife, Barb, own and operate Celebrations event hall in Seymour.

His first day in his new job will be Monday.

Tabeling, who is originally from Louisville, Kentucky, served as baseball coach at Trinity Lutheran High School for 13 seasons and as girls basketball coach from 2006 to 2008. He also has coached Little League teams in the area.

The Tabelings have five children, all of whom have been or are involved in playing or coaching sports, and two grandchildren.

“He’s very familiar with our rec leagues,” Luedeman said.

The city received about 30 applications for the job and interviewed 11 people.

“There were several good candidates. It wasn’t an easy decision, but Bob’s passion for sports and recreation, his management background and knowledge and experience with budgeting made him the right choice,” Luedeman said.

The parks department has been operating without a director for the past six months since former director Brent Jameson resigned to take a teaching and coaching job at Seymour High School. Jameson recently was named the head varsity basketball coach at Scottsburg High School.

Jameson earned a salary of $47,238.20 before he resigned.

Working with Tabeling will be Jason Kleber, the department’s current athletics director, a job that was created in 2014 to attract more sports tournaments and events to the city.

“Jason has done such a tremendous job for us, and we want to expand what he is doing,” Luedeman said.

Tabeling will be responsible for helping Kleber with scheduling, organizing and hosting tournaments and events in the city, including baseball, softball, soccer and swimming.

But much of his time will be spent on finding ways to improve and upgrade parks and recreation facilities.

“He will be going after grants for our trails development and really pushing quality of life initiatives and programs in the community,” Luedeman said.

Those efforts will be brought more to the forefront over the next three years, Luedeman said.

“And Bob will be the face of that work and the department,” he said. “This is going to allow the parks and rec department to move forward so we can capitalize on what we are doing.”

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.