The Student Voice Of Contra Costa College, San Pablo, Calif.

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The Student Voice Of Contra Costa College, San Pablo, Calif.

The Advocate

Future of athletics department under new authority

Former DVC Vikings Program Coordinator Kyle Alvarado is set to put his skills to use in hopes for a brighter future for all sports at Contra Costa College

In October, Contra Costa College named Kyle Alvarado its new Director of Athletics, thus ending their search and CCC’s Beth Goehring’s interim position. 

The Advocate sat down with Alvarado to ask questions about the future of CCC’s sports department, the role it plays in students’ lives, as well as the disappearance of certain sports at the school.

Alvarado, who has worked in the Contra Costa Community College District for 10 years, previously worked under the title of program coordinator at Diablo Valley College for athletics and health science; however, he says wore many hats at the college.

“Technically –payroll title – I was program coordinator, but it was ‘slash’ Associate Athletic Director. So that’s where most of my athletics experience comes from,” Alvarado explained.

Women’s soccer and softball have been absent from the Comets’ home soil lately. According to the Comets’ Athletics website, the last recorded teams for Women’s soccer were in the 2021-22 season and softball in the 2018-19 season. When asked about the first steps toward resurrecting these sports, Alvarado said, “It starts with hiring good coaches and getting good stability at coaches.” 

In 2020, The Advocate published an article about the challenges the sports department was facing at the time regarding hiring coaches, a part of CCC history that Alvarado refers to as a “revolving door of head coaches.” 

According to him, this “revolving door” is a product of the many things that schools require from their coaches, one of which is the part-time income of being a coach. 

“In my experience, most of the head coaches on our campus, and across the district, are part-time faculty members,” he said. 

This requires these coaches to have two jobs to cover the cost of living, which ultimately results in them leaving their part-time commitment of coaching for a more stable full-time position that secures them and their families. Since the job requires not only time in practice and games, but also prep for those events and recruiting on top of all of it, the job offers part-time pay for full-time effort. 

These part-time positions are all thanks to another suspect in the case of the missing sports: funding, or the lack thereof. According to Alvarado, the lack of funding for sports results in the lack of payment for those full-time positions. This is what starts the chain reaction of many not being able to take on the challenge of part-time coaching. 

The struggle of choosing between sports or a steady income is one that Alvarado says also faces the players in the sports department. While managing a schedule as well as a job, he said that students often have to “choose between a job and being an intercollegiate athlete.”

Alvarado explained that helping these students who are facing those kinds of decisions, is a step in the right direction for the department to better their athletes while simultaneously bettering their athletic teams. 

“Anything we as a department can do to help out with some of those basic needs, whether it’s the food pantry or things like that,” he said, would “help students make their ends meet.”

The importance of sports is something that Alvarado claims will present itself on and off the field. Explaining that sports can teach one lessons of self-discipline, team working, and time management, Alvarado told The Advocate. 

“Something as simple as showing up on time” is one of the many things he has carried with him from his background in playing sports. “I played so many sports and the kind of ‘rule of thumb’ for me was, if you’re early, you’re on time, and if you’re on time you’re late.” 

This is something he uses in his everyday life whether it be in the morning showing up to the office, showing up for a meeting or a phone call. Alvarado said that out of respect for his and his colleagues’ time, he makes sure he shows up “ready to go.”

He also explained that sports and being part of a team can help students apply the team mindset to those around them, specifically at a college. 

“We have our admissions departments that help process students, you have counselors that help teachers guide students to the degree they want, you have faculty members who are teaching students and learning is going on.,” he said. “You have managed operations, keeping bathrooms [clean] and making sure facilities are updated. There’s all these different pieces to the puzzle that help run a successful organization, and I feel like sports is really important in teaching and learning that.”

As for his plans for the future of the department, Alvarado said the students and their needs are at the forefront, stating he wants to make sure he is “looking out for student-athletes on a holistic level.” 

He wants the focus of the department on putting the student before the athlete in the term “student-athlete” and to be certain they are doing everything necessary to matriculate students, for that is more important than the wins and the losses.

“The most rewarding part of my job in athletics has always been seeing student-athletes move on. Then, when I get to see them come back, they are in a career they like and they helped themselves and their families, a lot of times, to a better life,” he said. “Those are the things that stick with me.”

Alvarado wants to provide this outcome to all students, and create as “equitable” a program as possible, stating that it first starts with “getting female sports up and running.” Alvarado told The Advocate that the department is in the process of finalizing a candidate for the women’s soccer coach and that he would have to speak with “leadership about where we are with softball,” but that they are “trying to run softball back” as well.

With hopes and head held high, Alvarado aspires to bring a full program of sports back to the CCC campus and make sure the department responsible for it is providing everything necessary for their student-athletes to “become successful in their [lives] and the things they want to achieve.” 

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Jolie Willson
Jolie Willson, Advocate Staff

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