With Dr. Cassandra Perez stepping down from her position as athletic director at the end of the school year, West Ranch has named two replacements who will serve as co-athletic directors this upcoming year: Dody Garcia and Anne Konrad.
Garcia and Konrad will work together to continue the competitive excellence that West Ranch has strived for since its doors opened, as both have been affiliated with West Ranch in some capacity for more than a decade now. Garcia has been with the school since 2004 and Konrad since 2005.
“The goal is to not only maintain the current level of the program, but to increase the excellence of our programs, to be of service to our coaches, athletes and to our parents,” Konrad said.
Garcia served as the school’s first athletic director in 2004 until 2012, but has remained with the school in certain respects, serving as the JV girls tennis coach while pursuing an administrative credential.
She has also helped with unofficial assignments around the campus, taught social studies classes and served as the Foothill League secretary. Above all, she has always remained an avid athletics fan.
“It’s a unique situation since I started the program here, so I feel like Dr. Perez picked it up from where I left off, now I’m picking it back up where she left off,” Garcia said. “Since I’ve been involved with athletics and still taught at West Ranch, I felt like I’ve never left, so I’ve always been involved whether it was coaching or doing football stats or working some of the games.
“I’m just a big West Ranch athletics fan like Mrs. Konrad so it’s just part of my nature and I’m excited to be back leading a new group of coaches, a new group of athletes and especially excited to be working with Anne as the new co-athletic directors.”
Konrad has an extensive background in sports, participating in collegiate sports and serving as the physical education chair and the frosh/soph girls soccer head coach at West Ranch.
While Konrad is new to the position, she is well aware of the competitiveness and passion that the Foothill League schools exude as her daughter Kayla, who graduated two years ago, attended and played sports at Valencia. Her son, Kevin, just finished his junior year playing for the Vikings varsity boys basketball program.
“My family is very involved in athletics and it’s just something that has been part of our lives growing up and continue to be to this day with me coaching and teaching at this school,” Konrad said.
Officially getting their athletic director duties underway in late May, the two have coordinated the school’s summer camps with Konrad doing the majority of the work since Garcia was on vacation.
The two will split the sports programs as Garcia will be in charge of football, girls tennis, girls volleyball, boys basketball, girls basketball, baseball, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse and boys volleyball. Konrad will head cross-country, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, boys golf, softball, swim and dive, track and field and boys tennis.
With the school year quickly approaching, the co-athletic directors turn their attention to upholding the academic and athletic standards that West Ranch and the rest of the Foothill League schools embody through their dedication to athletics.
“All our sports programs highly emphasize the standards of CIF competition, that we are competing with honor, integrity and sportsmanship,” Konrad said. “We want to make sure that that’s visible throughout all our of our programs and that we continue to be competitive and help our kids grow both on and off the field.”
“I think the integrity that Anne mentioned is instrumental in our program and we want to maintain that same level of academic integrity, as well as our athletic integrity and just get the kids a full-rounded experience,” Garcia said. “With that competitiveness, we also want to make it fun for the kids because that’s the No. 1 reason kids play sports.
“While it’s competitive we also want to make it fun because they are still teenagers and this is such a short part of their life and we want to make it fun and enjoyable for them.”