Sidwell Welcomes John Square as New Athletic Director

As the new school year begins, the Sidwell Friends Athletic Department will welcome a new Athletic Director, John Square. “Always put your best foot forward. You’re not gonna always feel 100% but how you show up … people will always remember,” Square advised Sidwell student-athletes.

Growing up in Houston, Texas, Square’s life was infused with sports from the very beginning. Throughout his time in high school, Square competed in football, basketball and track at the varsity level. 

Square went on to play Division I college football at the University of Miami, where he won two national championships. He credits the competitive environment at UMiami with pushing him to improve. 

“You go from being the best [in high school] to now the lowest person on the totem pole, and if you’re not in an environment where people care about you and want you to be successful, you could get lost,” he said. 

This philosophy carries into his interest in working at Sidwell. For Square, a balance between a strong and nurturing community and a competitive atmosphere is necessary to develop athletes and people.

Lean on the folks around you. Make sure that you’re doing what you need to for yourself so that you can perform academically and athletically how you want to.

— John Square

When asked why he chose Sidwell, Square cited the school’s exceptional academic and athletic reputation, but also emphasized that “the people in that community are really good people.” 

After his four years of playing football at UMiami, Square worked in the university’s hospital center, where he learned how to administrate a medical school. It was during this time that Square began coaching pee-wee football and his then four-year-old son’s basketball team. 

After his initial introduction to coaching, Square went on to coach girls’ basketball and football. 

Square says a major takeaway from his experience is the importance of “[having] a larger impact on the athletic program — every coach, every student athlete, every parent that’s in the program.” 

With this goal in mind, Square began his work in George Washington University’s athletic department. As Senior Associative Director for Internal Operations, he oversaw NCAA compliance, budgeting, the office of financing and facilities operations. Square also created culture metrics and managed all staff and student athlete development. 

“It’s much easier to mold middle and high school student athletes than it is at the college level,” Square said.

With an effort to make a greater impact on up-and-coming student-athletes, he has joined the Sidwell family and is ready to continue to grow the athletic program. 

As Sidwell’s administration solidifies contracts aimed at improving the athletic department, Square seeks to maintain a “high competitive environment but at the same time [show] care and support for everyone in it.” 

As a final piece of advice for student athletes, Square recommends “lean[ing] on the folks around you. Make sure that you’re doing what you need to for yourself so that you can perform academically and athletically how you want to.”