Seven years ago, Dave Coronado started overseeing the athletic director role at Monterey Trail High School after teaching at Samuel Kennedy School for 11 years.
The position meant a lot to Coronado, who also is the Mustangs’ varsity baseball coach, because of his ability to help students reach their potential. Now, he is going on eight years at Monterey Trail, and last month he was recognized by the California State Athletic Directors Association as the Sac-Joaquin Section Athletic Director of the Year.
“It means a lot because it just validates the great people I get to work with,” Coronado said.
Coronado also won the rookie award a few years ago from the CSADA, also known as the Norm MacKenzie Award. The award is given to an “outstanding new or rookie athletic director from each section” that has completed at least one year on the job but no more than four years as an AD.
Winners of the Section AD of the Year are nominated by each Section through CSADA vice presidents, according to the CSADA. Winners need to have coached at least five years and need to be a member of the CSADA.
In his time with the Mustangs, Coronado has witnessed state championships, section championships and league championships but saw perhaps the toughest year to date for the Mustangs this spring with the coronavirus pandemic, which forced school closures locally and abruptly halted spring sports after most teams played just a few games and others weren’t able to compete.
“It’s tough because of the work the kids did and to see all the prep the kids did not be put to work,” Coronado said of the shift to distance-learning by local schools.
Despite the shortened season, Monterey Trail worked to make the end of the school year a smooth one, awarding it senior awards as part of its year-end ritual; Kevin Adams, Jr. won Male Athlete of the Year and Sarah Sin won Female Athlete of the Year.
Coronado is one of 15 recipients across nine sections this year, along with J.J. Ramirez of East Union High School, who also represents the SJS in winning the award.
Still, he was humble when notified about the award.
“I’m just trying to give the kids the best possible athletic experience. I just want to provide and have these great men and women walk away with a great high school experience,” Coronado said.