Greenwood High School hired Michael Hudson as the school’s new athletic director, Greenwood School District 50 announced Monday night after an executive session at the district’s board meeting.

Hudson joins Greenwood High after serving as the interim director at Genesis Education Center. Hudson has worked in District 50 for 24 years as a teacher, coach and administrator.

“Greenwood High School has been really special to me, and this process has been really cool,” Hudson said Monday in a phone interview. “Though I haven’t been there for a few years, I’ve never lost my passion for Greenwood High School athletics.”

Hudson was an assistant coach on four state championship teams, two for girls basketball and two for football, at Greenwood. He spoke confidently about restoring a championship culture at Greenwood.

“Look forward to being able to help coaches and student athletes get back to that level,” Hudson said. “It’s something we’ve been missing, but we’re going to dig in and work hard and try to bring that proud tradition back.”

The Eagles’ last football state championship came under Gene Cathcart in 2012 in Class 4A Division 2. The Eagles also appeared in three girls basketball state championship games under Sheila Rhodes in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Hudson was an assistant under Rhodes. He coached a state champion golfer in Emmett Turner when he served as Greenwood High’s head golf coach.

Hudson is a Newberry College graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He received his masters degree in business education from the University of South Carolina and a certification in administration from Clemson University.

The district split the athletic director and football coach positions at Greenwood and Emerald starting this year, and Hudson will have a major role in hiring the next GHS football coach.

Hudson takes over for Dan Pippin, who spent six years at Greenwood as athletic director and football coach.

The football coach listing won’t be posted for a few more weeks, Hudson said. Hudson, principal Chad Evans and superintendent Steve Glenn will collaborate to make the hiring decision.

“It’s going to be very important for that head coach that we hire to be a kid magnet,” Hudson said. “We need someone who kids are drawn to, that they love to play for and that has a love and knowing for the game.

“I think that you find that if you work hard enough and you make enough phone calls, you’ll figure it out. You have to know X’s and O’s, you have to be solid there, but we need to make sure that we have that all taken care of as far as knowing that that person is going to draw that interest and draw those student athletes.”

With the South Carolina High School League realignment approaching in the spring, Hudson knows Greenwood could be in very different positions depending on whether it stays in Class 5A or moves down to Class 4A.

Greenwood is currently the smallest Class 5A school in the state, which puts it at a distinct disadvantage in terms of challenging for state championships.

“The good thing is the numbers are out of our control, as far as how many students we have on that 45th day,” Hudson said. “There’s lots of rumors swirling around, but what we know is wherever we land, we got to have the mindset of ‘Let’s go.’ Let’s do this together and try to put our very best effort each and every single time that we practice, meet and compete.”

Contact sports writer Skylar Rolstad at 223-1813 or follow him on Twitter @SkyRolSports.