| Miriam Dijamco | firstname.lastname@example.org | January 28, 2020 |
To most, Michael Gutierrez is known for his role in teaching US history. So it may surprise some to know that Gutierrez is also d.tech’s newest athletics director. Marcus Marsall was the school’s athletic director for the first four years at d.tech. After he left, Lessley Glore was brought in as a part-timer, but resigned in the middle of this school year, her position being filled by Gutierrez.
“I think [Glore] felt like it was a personal reason,” Student Culture Coordinator Henry Lonnemann said, “It was just a lot of work…she was coming from the East Bay and so she just couldn’t do everything.” December 20th, Gutierrez became the athletic director to fill in for former athletics director Lesilie Glore, after her resignation.
As the former athletic director at Mercy High School for seven years, and the Recreation Athletic Supervisor of Daly City for 25 years, Gutierrez has plenty of experience in the field. “I’ve coached probably 150 different teams, different sports and everything for a long time,” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez started off his career in the same year he graduated from high school, refereeing basketball in 1978. After that, things just seemed to fall into place. “A guy in Daly City from the Recreation Department said, ‘how’d you like to referee in our tournament?’ I said ‘sure,’ So I did. And then I worked there for the next 32 years,” Gutierrez laughed.
Eventually, in 2011, Gutierrez decided to retire from the center, which allowed him to follow a career he liked better: teaching. Gutierrez said simply, “Athletics is something I know and I love, [but] teaching is my passion.” Gutierrez spends most of his time and efforts in teaching, and being the athletic director is a part-time job that he takes on out of the classroom. “When I got hired full-time Dr. Montgomery did ask me if I wanted to be athletic director. I said no,” but agreed to this year, as he took to fill in the absence, wanting to “be there when needed.”
In the process of taking up the torch so suddenly, securing locations to games is particularly difficult, especially as Glore had not reserved fields or gyms for upcoming games, which left Gutierrez scrambling to secure locations for teams to compete in. “Even for games like tomorrow, I’m looking for [soccer] fields…this late in time. It’s very, very difficult,” Gutierrez noted. Lonnemann is Gutierrez’s associate in ensuring that communication runs smoothly. “I do communication with parents and students about sports issues. But he is definitely the head guy,” Lonnomann added, “He’s been doing a great job, with getting all the fields finalized and making sure we have all the refs and making sure everything is kind of organized.”
The best part of his role as athletics director is that it’s “the chance to see all these different people who love different kinds of sports.” The job has its pros and cons. “[Being the athletic director] takes a lot of time.” Gutierrez elaborated, “[I] get emails and texts saying, ‘where are the referees?’ ‘are we scheduled for today?’ ‘can we switch a game?’ from different athletic directors and coaches all the time because athletics happens after school…That’s when you have to be ready.” Gutierrez reflected, “I appreciate the students’, parents’, and coaches’ patience in the meantime, because [having everything run smoothly] will take a little time. Not having fields won’t happen next year, because I’ll know [locations for games] way in advance…just be patient with me, and we’re going to all be successful.”
As for basketball, “There’s an arrangement made that we can use the gymnasium sometimes…so hopefully students can go over there and watch the teams play.”
Gutierrez is unable to make it to games on his own, as he is currently in a wheelchair. Lonnemann and School Director Melissa Mizel are helping Gutierrez commute to games. Gutierrez hopes to eventually be able to “Go to more games and see all the different sports.”
Besides the coordinating aspect of his role, Gutierrez sees sports as his way of advocating for passion. “People have to find their passion. Sports can be passionate for so many people in so many ways. In addition, sports “contributes to the success of a student…If [sports] is the only thing that keeps them into school…That’s a good thing. To him, Gutierrez is inspired by those who make sports part of their life—“That’s amazing to me.”
In the future, Gutierrez hopes to “let people know about d.tech and hopefully our teams can compete.” He continued, “Sure, do I love to win? Yes. But the most important [part] is to compete.” He said, “I want to be as successful, if not more here at d.tech. I would love for d.tech to participate in the section playoffs, maybe even a championship, who knows?” Gutierrez adds, “I would love to have an athletic program that people are proud of.”