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Palo Alto High names Fung as its new athletic director

Original post made on Mar 20, 2014

It didn't take much of a search to find Palo Alto High's new athletic director. The final choice was on campus all along. In fact, he was at the school's track on Wednesday doing what he normally does.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 6:07 PM

Comments (23)

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Posted by Aaron Blumenkranz
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 20, 2014 at 11:13 am

Congrats Jason! You'll be great. Glad to hear you wil be sheparding the next generation at Paly.


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Posted by Dean
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2014 at 11:21 am

Great Choice!


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Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 20, 2014 at 11:31 am

Chris Zaharias is a registered user.

Congratulations, Jason.


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Posted by Debbie
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Congrats Jason - best of luck in your new adventure in life.


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Posted by Bill Berry
a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Congratulations Jason!


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Posted by Huh?
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 20, 2014 at 8:09 pm

I hope he forces coaches to be more lenient in regards to academics since this is a college prep school. Volleyball and lacrosse players have to stay and watch the games of others instead of going home after their games to do homework. They are strict about attendance - no exceptions. Why should students have to sacrifice their grades to be athletes? Most are not going to get college scholarships so they need their grades to fall back on.

The track athletes have to attend practice or they are cut from the team after 3 absences. Meanwhile, the "coaches" are jokes who don't even show up and are track athletes but don't know how to coach properly. How can you force athletes to attend when they don't learn anything? Why not let them leave to do homework? No wonder no one takes track seriously.

And those who take Dance instead of P.E. cannot have a prep period when they are on the school team. Does that make any sense?

Hopefully, Coach Fung has the common sense to improve these things.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 21, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Interesting choice. Did they interview others?


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Posted by figures
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 21, 2014 at 1:41 pm

In reply to: Interesting choice. Did they interview others?

Yes, they had a full panel, but it was obvious from the panel they were going to choose in-house.....bummer, sometimes a new fresh face with new ideas is the way to go....not the good 'ol boy system....


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm

The team rules are the team rules. If the coaches want you stay to watch another team,then that's what you do. Here's a tip...bring your homework with you.

That's right, you can't skip practice without permission. That's what being on a team means. You commit to being part of the team at all times, not when it's convenient for you.

You don't have to participate if you don't want to!

Dance Team. Same could be said for the band...yet no belly aching from them.

The word "elective" in the phrase "elective activities" should mean something to you.

Stop whining and either commit or quit.


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Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 21, 2014 at 7:46 pm

@Huh? Neither Dance or Cheerleading are considered sports in California, dance is not technically a team, it is a club. Here is the list of approved sports: Web Link

And Paly has a strong tradition of great athletic teams which require a lot of time. If you don't want to put in the time, don't tryout or join. Its not like the time commitment is hidden from prospective athletes...


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Posted by Paly junior
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 22, 2014 at 1:03 am

I personally feel that Coach Fung is well-deserving of the job and will be a great AD. From my experience of having him as a coach, I have found that he is very responsible, organized, and open to change. While Coach Hansen was quite a legend, I'm glad that younger blood (from within the Paly community) will be taking his place.


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Posted by Experienced Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 22, 2014 at 4:24 pm

It's true, athletes do sacrifice their grades for sports and this should be changed. Our teams could be better if the system was improved. Other school districts are not as rigorous as PAUSD. Menlo, an equally rigorous school, allows for student-athletes to take time for both. Attendance at all costs is too strict, while athletes continually missing practice affects teams also. There should be a happy medium. The parents who think there is no problem are ignorant of their children's lives. Or maybe they are fine with their children attending CalState colleges.


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Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 22, 2014 at 6:07 pm

@experienced parent - UCSD and Caly Poly (both Cal State schools) have an acceptance rate of about 30% which puts them in the top 100 hardest schools to get into in the US. Those are comparable acceptance rates to Wellesley, Oberlin, Northeastern and Colgate. If your child "only" gets into Cal State schools how is that a bad thing? And somehow those student's parents are ignorant of their children's lives? Students don't "sacrifice their grades" to play a sport, they can choose not to play. BTW - I think Menlo actually requires their students to play one sport a semester.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 24, 2014 at 11:48 am

Here is some advice from a former Paly parent (and coach): My experience at Paly has been that students and their academics are most important. It is incumbent on the student to manage their time so that they can attend practices and matches while successfully managing their academic requirements. Additionally, it is also incumbent for the student (not the parents) to communicate with his/her coach when there maybe some timing issues or an important assignment that may require missing a practice. This should be proactively managed and not done on a last minute basis. Most coaches at Paly will positively respond to such a request.

However, if a student requests a permanent arrangement to miss x-days of practice each week, then the student should expect a negative response. Varsity sports are not summer camp activities. And they are not "AYSO" everyone plays, everyone gets a trophy environments. To be part of a varsity team, you have to make the same sacrifices as your teammates. Otherwise you either shouldn't be on the team or at least have any expectations that you'll get any playing time. To have the privilege of saying "4 years on the track team" on your college application, you should be on the field every day like everyone else. Team and/or varsity sports should not be seen as a college application resume builder!!!

As for the part-time coaches. I am guessing that they come to practice on the days that their college or job schedule allows. It is incredibly difficult to find HS coaches; especially given the pay is far below minimum wage when you calculate the hours. For example, at Paly and Gunn, a non-football team sport receives approximately $3500 stipend to cover the coaches for both varsity and JV. Say there is a head coach and assistant coach for both teams. Say they agree to equally share the stipend. That's $875 per coach, over 10-12 weeks, 2-3 hours day plus matches on weekends. Say 300 hours to cover the season. That's $2.92/hour.

So when I see parents complain about coaches who require commitment to practices, commitment to the team...


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 25, 2014 at 7:33 pm

People, life isn't black and white, especially in Palo Alto. Crescent Park Dad obviously doesn't know all the coaches. My child had two tests the next day and instead of claiming illness, asked the coach to miss practice but the coach said academics was not a good reason for missing and my child had to attend. And my child missing practice would have no effect on others, as it's an individualized sport. Next time, we're claiming illness. A shame that a school requiring so much homework can't give our athletes a break. No wonder our students are forced into cheating and lying and are stressed out.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 26, 2014 at 9:44 am

So your kid waited to the last minute to ask for a day off. I'm guessing not the first time. I did say most coaches, not all. But more importantly, I said kids need to be proactive with their coaches. Waiting to the last minute is not cool.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 26, 2014 at 9:47 am

Individual vs team sport doesn't matter when it comes to being part of a *team*. There is no "I" in team. The point is that everyone contributes to the team effort. You commit to working for your teammates, not yourself.


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Posted by alarms
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2014 at 10:01 am

Crescent Park Dad,

"So your kid waited to the last minute to ask for a day off. I'm guessing not the first time. I did say most coaches, not all. But more importantly, I said kids need to be proactive with their coaches. Waiting to the last minute is not cool."

Yes, that's the message. Athletes are supposed to be little chief executives with a color coded calendar with alarms so that when two tests land on the same day, the student can immediately contact the coach. Very cool indeed.


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Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 26, 2014 at 12:15 pm

I have to agree with the coach, academics are not a reason to miss practice. Students have advance warning on tests, often a couple weeks. If you commit to a team, you commit to a team. I know lots of kids who didn't play a sport in 11th or 12th grade because of the time commitment.


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Posted by Mom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 26, 2014 at 12:33 pm

My son played 6 years of his sport and was a star but could not continue at Paly because of the school workload. The colleges don't know or care if your child is a star athlete on a team because grades are priority on an application. My son would have not gotten into his second-tier college if he'd continued his sport at Paly and he has no regrets. He didn't want to attend a forth-tier college or CalState, as called above. BTW, UCSD is a UC school, not a CalState. And CalPoly has the reputation of a UC even though it's CalState. Some super intelligent athletes have it all and can still attend 1st/2nd tier colleges but they are rare.


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Posted by alarms
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm

palo alto resident,

"I know lots of kids who didn't play a sport in 11th or 12th grade because of the time commitment. "

and for many other reasons, burnt out, did not make varsity. It's more fun when the stakes are not so high, everyone gets to participate, and before it gets so serious.


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Posted by No Way
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 26, 2014 at 1:12 pm

This thread is humorous. We get the coach who lives and breathes sports and whines about coach salaries and at the other extreme, the nerds who think everyone should play. Too bad we can't meet in between.

@alarms: It should still be a competitive team, not like AYSO. The most irritating is being on a team with others who can't perform to help the team - brings the whole team down to mediocrity. Most teams play their first string and the rest are benchwarmers. If not first string, the time sacrifice is not worth it. And to be first string usually requires additional coaching outside of the season and sometimes during the season. Unless your child eats and dreams it and wouldn't be studying anyway, who needs the additional stress?


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Posted by alarms
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2014 at 1:28 pm

No way,

I agree there should be a happy medium for the occasional "forgot to be a CEO" today. If an athlete is otherwise an asset to the team, and is not doing this every week, what is the big deal.

This concern is for the 11th and 12th graders who are working hard to play for their team, not an overhaul of the system to make it AYSO.

I have seen the extreme coaches, extreme parents, with good or mediocre athletes. No matter how you slice it, underneath that hard working athlete is a teenager who does occasionally forget, does occasionally get tired. I maintain that not understanding this is what's not cool.





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