The3-minute interview with Don Collins

After leaving his position with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco, Collins became the commissioner of The City’s public high school sports league in December 2001. Since that time, he has worked with Assistant Director John Zlatunich to improve the San Francisco Section by starting a Web site, creating new facilities (such as the football field at Burton High School) and improving the maintenance at existing athletic sites.

Did you play high school sports yourself? Yes, but I wasn’t a very good athlete. I ran cross country and track. I survived them and they survived me.

What was your biggest challenge in taking the job?We wanted to do our best to put everyone in a position to maximize their performances. From the big things like improving and adding facilities to all the paperwork minutiae that has to be done. And then there were the basics of keeping records and developing the Web site.

What’s your goal for the section as you look ahead? Continuing to develop the [schools’] facilities is of the utmost importance. We want them to be enjoyed not only by the students but by the people in the community as well. We also want more things like Wednesday night’s boys’ soccer game [between O’Connell and Mission] at Kezar and more night and Saturday football games. We want more people to be able to see what we’re doing and enjoy it.

Is there an offseason for you guys? No, we’re around all summer doing all the prep work. We review schedules, fix up the facilities, contact the coaches and do a lot of the dull things to make sure that when the school year starts, the fields are lined and everything is ready to go.

melliser@examiner.com


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