BY JESUS HERNANDEZ
Southwest High Teacher, Ruben Valenzuela becomes the new Athletic Director for Southwest High School. Valenzuela’s first school year as Athletic Director is the 2017-2018 school year.
The Athletic Director position at Southwest High used to belong to Joe Evangelist. Evangelist decided to retire after the 2016-2017 school year. Evangelist was Southwest High School’s first Athletic Director when the school first opened in 1995. During his time as principal, Evangelist was also the person who hired Valenzuela to work at Southwest High in the year 1997.
Valenzuela’s journey to becoming Athletic Director began 19 years ago, when he finished his major in Kinesiology and minor in Biology at San Diego State University, Main Campus and was employed at Southwest High School to teach and coach.
“This is a goal I had set for myself when I had finished my undergrad work at San Diego State. I loved coaching I wanted to get into coaching but I knew eventually I wasn’t gonna coach forever. I wanted to move into this office (athletic director’s office) to have a positive influence on all sports,” said Valenzuela.
Valenzuela has coached many sports before he became Athletic Director. Valenzuela has coached all levels from Freshman to Varsity. Valenzuela has also coached both boy’s and girl’s teams. He has coached basketball, baseball, and football.
Although Valenzuela has dealt with his team’s and his athletes in the past, he now has to do what he did for his teams to all of Southwest High School’s sports teams.
Now instead of making sure Valenzuela is ready to coach and worrying about only himself fulfilling all of the requirements, The new athletic director has to make sure all of his coaches are ready to coach and the Southwest High athletes are able to play.
Valenzuela has learned from seeing former Southwest High Athletic Directors such as Joe Evangelist, Craig Lyon, who is now the principal at Central Union High School, and Mickey Carter.
Even though Valenzuela is now the athletic director, he still teaches two biology classes in the mornings.