The priceless athletic director

Patrick Loera

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While San Jose City College looks for a new athletic director, the aspects of the ideal candidate are on every body’s mind.

What qualities does the ideal candidate have? Why should athletes and students care about the ideal athletic director?

The answer is simple. The ideal candidate should put the athletes first. He or she should make sure to know everything about the athletes, the progress of their discipline and to provide them with as much support as possible.

At the moment, it’s easier than you think to overlook sports in general at SJCC because of the lack of community support it receives on campus.

The only support it gets is a last minute email and the crack of the bat in Jaguar stadium heard only on a small portion of the campus.

Who knew that golf, softball and track and field are well underway? Where’s the support?

The ideal athletic director will have the athletes in mind first. He or she will be able to provide the encouragement athletes need to push further.

Sure, that’s why each team has a coaching staff, but that’s the thing. Each coach has an obligation to the athletes within their discipline, whereas the ideal athletic director will have an obligation to all the Jaguar athletes.

Actually, there is one man without bias and who has these principles that the ideal candidate can be modeled after.

He is one who always knows what sports are in season, what time events start and the full health report on all the athletes; that man is head athletic trainer Arnold Salazar.

Salazar has been part of Jaguar sports for the past 37 years and has assisted thousands of student athletes grow into prosperous young men and women not only in athletics but in life as well.

He has seen his share of championship games, state meets and professional athletes and knows what success looks like.

In fact, Salazar and men’s basketball head coach Percy Carr began their careers at SJCC in the same year. So essentially, they have grown up together.

“Without Arnold, we would not have won 800 games,” Carr said. “He is a tremendous asset for the basketball team and the athletic department.”

Salazar’s impact in the athletic department can be seen on the SJCC sports hall of fame located in the lobby of the main gym. The only thing it’s missing is a

Big Head cutout poster of Salazar wrapping a bag of ice on an athlete.

“Arnold is dedicated to his job and has been an asset to San Jose City College athletic sport programs,” softball head coach Deborah Huntze-Rooney said. “He has helped many student-athletes with a variety of injuries, and takes time to work with them to make sure they are strong enough to return to practice and games.”

Salazar’s approach is recognized among the athletes as his reputation is impeccable when it comes to athlete priority support before, during and after performances.

“Arnold is a priceless part of this school’s training programs. He keeps us in good shape,” said Cm April, a steeplechase contender on the SJCC track and field team.

So now the question is: why shouldn’t SJCC select the ideal candidate for athletic director after the principles and dedication Salazar has for the Jaguar athletes?

Just like Salazar, the athletes deserve an athletic director that is “priceless” in his or her dedication to athletics.

The atheletes should come first, and the athletic director should know this.