Breaking News: Archdiocese unveils new look, reorganized GCL
By John Stegeman
The Catholic Telegraph
A major institution in area high school athletics has been reorganized and rebranded to promote its Catholic identity.
The Greater Catholic League, and Girls Greater Cincinnati League have now come under a single umbrella league with three divisions.
Learn more about the new GCL and its leaders
Dr. Jim Rigg, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, announced the changes at a press conference Monday at Receptions North Conference Center in Fairfield.
The 18 Catholic high schools that previously competed in the GCL and GGCL will now be a part of a unified GCL broken down by gender. Each division will have its own commissioner.
The all-boys schools (Elder, La Salle, Moeller, Xavier) will be a division, retaining their traditional name as the GCL South. The commissioner will be Tom Gamble.
The all-girls schools (McAuley, Mother of Mercy, Mount Notre Dame, Seton, Ursula, and Ursuline) will have a division that retains the GGCL moniker, with the word Cincinnati become Catholic instead. The GGCL commissioner will be Kim Douthit, who served that role for the previously independent GGCL as well.
The division representing the schools with both boys and girls as students will be galled the GCL Co-Ed. It will include Alter, Badin, Chaminade Julienne, Carroll, Fenwick, McNicholas, Purcell-Marian, and Roger Bacon. The commissioner will be Matthew Koenig.
In an earlier interview with The Catholic Telegraph Rigg said discussions about the reorganization began in the fall of 2011 at the impetus of the co-ed schools.
“We wanted to provide a system that worked well for all three different type of schools,” he said. “One that provides the necessary, unique attention for each of them, but also has us all housed under a single league umbrella with a unified mission and purpose.”
That purpose, Rigg said, is to foster a Catholic identity.
“The formation of the new GCL gives us the opportunity to reaffirm the Catholic mission of our high school athletic programs,” Rigg said. “Just as our high schools exist to foster the faith, so, too, do our sports teams. This Catholic mission will not just be present in how our teams practice and play games. This mission will be present in how we train our coaches and athletic directors, how we orient our parents and fans, and in how we explain and market our programs to the general community.”
The GCL sponsors 16 sports and last year saw competition by more than 500 teams.
The new GCL includes most of the Catholic High Schools in the archdiocese. The five Catholic High Schools in the archdiocese that are not members are Catholic Central, Lehman Catholic, St. Rita School for the Deaf, Summit Country Day and DePaul Cristo Rey.