As I work through my fifth year as the Commissioner of Athletics for the CIF Southern Section, I cannot help but reflect on where I have been and where I am going. I would like to share a story of how two phone calls resulted in giving me the incredible opportunity I now have to lead this wonderful organization. Here is the true story about those two phone calls.
On April 15, 2011, I received a phone call informing me that I had been selected as the Commissioner of Athletics for the CIF Southern Section, the 9th person to serve in this position in the 103 years since this organization was founded. That day also happened to be my birthday. Needless to say, it was quite a birthday present and one I will never forget. I say that because that phone call reaffirmed for me how high school athletics changed my life and have been my life.
I entered a CIF Southern Section high school as a good student and I definitely had aspirations to go on to college after I finished my studies there. I also knew that I wanted to participate in athletics for my school and was excited to begin that aspect of my high school experience. During those years, I played for some truly outstanding coaches, who served as tremendous role models for me. They were people I admired and wanted to emulate for their hard work, dedication and professionalism. I have many memories of those years that are still with me today: the teammates I played with, the friendships I made, the exciting victories and the crushing defeats, none more devastating than the last game of my high school career when I knew that I was not a good enough athlete to continue to participate in athletics in college.
It was as a second year college student that I got another phone call that changed my life. My high school football coach asked me if I was interested in becoming an assistant football coach on his staff. I jumped at the opportunity and the next week I was on the field for the first day of Spring Practice. I remember how fast the time went by that day and at the end of practice I could not believe that three hours had passed. This was the first job I ever had that I didn’t watch the clock to see when my workday was over. On that day, I realized what I wanted to do as a career. I continued to coach while I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in History, got my teaching credential in Social Studies, and became a high school teacher and coach. For 38 consecutive years, since I received that phone call, I have been involved in high school education and athletics as a Social Studies teacher, an assistant coach, a head coach, an athletic director, an Assistant Commissioner and now Commissioner of Athletics for the CIF Southern Section.
What I have learned and experienced has helped me develop a strong and unwavering belief in what we do and who we do it for. I am totally committed to joining with you in continuing to do our very best to provide outstanding educational opportunities, through participation in high school athletics, for the young people we are so fortunate to work with.
In so many ways, those two phone calls have brought us together at this time and as I continue this journey with you as your Commissioner of Athletics, I want you to know that I look forward to
serving you and supporting you today, tomorrow and always.