Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - April 11, 2014

New Menlo AD is school's ex-hoop coach

Menlo School has dug into its past to find a leader for the future, hiring Kris Weems as its new athletic director. Weems, the school's former boys basketball coach, brings a wealth of experience as an administrator, coach and player at all levels from youth to NCAA Division I to the NBA.

Most recently, he was an assistant coach and scout for the Golden State Warriors. Prior to that, Weems coached at Menlo and worked in the school's Development Office, coordinating the Athletics Hall of Fame and helping to raise funds for Menlo's recent capital campaign, a highlight of which was the new Athletic Center.

"I am really excited about the opportunity and to be back with the Menlo community," Weems said. "I learned a lot at Menlo as a coach, then that experience was taken to another level when I joined the Development Office and got the chance to be involved on a daily basis with the staff and students."

Weems created many close ties with students at Menlo — he was also an advocate, mentoring a group of students throughout each school year. During his seven-season tenure as Menlo's varsity boys' basketball coach, his teams made three trips to NorCals and won two championships in seven Central Coast Section appearances. He held a 138-60 record overall and received numerous coach of the year awards in addition to being a nominee for Positive Coaching Alliance Double-Goal Coach.

Before Weems came to Menlo, he served as special assistant to the Associate Athletic Director at his alma mater, Stanford University, where he earned his BA in Sociology. A three-year starter for the basketball team, he amassed 1,235 career points and helped lead the Cardinal to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 1998 Final Four.

"Kris knows the school well and understands at a deep level the challenges and opportunities of building a strong athletics program in an environment of academic excellence," said Menlo Head of School Than Healy.

Weems takes over for Craig Schoof, who is in his 14th year as Menlo's athletic director and 27th season as baseball coach. As athletic director, Schoof has overseen a program that has won numerous titles every season — 120 league, 30 CCS, 15 NorCal and two state championships. During his tenure, the Knights have won at least one CCS title each year, and every sport has secured at least one league title, a first for the school.

Many of Schoof's student-athletes continued on to play at the college level. His baseball teams have won 16 league titles and, in 2013, Schoof was recognized by his colleagues and named CCS Honor Coach for his contributions to the sport.

"Craig's passion and dedication have had a major impact on Menlo athletics, furthering our long legacy of coaching excellence, sportsmanship and level of play," Healy said. "We are fortunate to be starting from the strong foundation that Craig and other coaches have built over many years."

One of Weems' first tasks as the new athletic director will be to lead a newly envisioned program for grades 6-12, developing a strategic plan for athletics at Menlo for the upper and middle school divisions combined.

"It's an exciting way to run a program: It allows for some symmetry and correlation that begins with sixth grade and builds a bridge, so that the coaches and staff can give the students the support they need as they're growing and maturing," Weems said. "We can help with the process throughout; to make sure that they have a good experience on the floor, so that they'll be better students, as well."

The goal is to ensure that one of Menlo's biggest co-curricular programs continues to grow, thrive and lead.

"A good listener with a wonderful sense of humor, Kris has a quiet charisma and a humble confidence that will serve him well in this leadership position, as much of the work he will do is relational in nature," Healy added. "All of us here could not be more pleased to welcome Kris back to the Menlo community, and I am confident in his ability to develop and carry out the vision for Menlo Athletics in the years to come."

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