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CV’s Greg Magni named top area athletic director
Greg Magni has been named the 2018-19 Sac-Joaquin Section Athletic Director of the Year. - photo by Dale Butler

Greg Magni loves his job.

“Every day brings challenges,” said Magni, Central Valley High School’s athletic director for the past six years. “But it’s fun to see our kids compete.”

Magni was named the 2018-19 Sac-Joaquin Section Athletic Director of the Year by the California State Athletic Directors Association (CSADA) last month.

“It’s an honor to be recognized,” Magni said. “It means a lot to me because it’s something my peers vote on.”

“I am so happy that Greg is being given this award, as he is the ultimate professional and a valuable asset to Central Valley High School,” CVHS principal Carol Lubinsky said.

CSADA sent Magni a letter of recognition in December.

“I was shocked,” he said. “I know how many great athletic directors are in our section. They taught me to do my job.”

Magni praised former athletic director Phil de la Porte (Ceres High), and current AD’s Shawna Nunes (Ceres High), Charlie Pikas (Pacheco) and Joe Barcellos (Los Banos) for their guidance.

“Phil de la Porte was the standard,” Magni said. “I was fortunate to work with a legend like him. “Nunes and Parrish helped me get settled and learn the ins and outs of the job. Once I learned the basics, they (Pikas and Barcellos) helped me get out of my comfort zone and try new things.”

Magni stepped down as leader of Central Valley’s varsity baseball program to become the Hawks’ new athletic director in 2013-14. Along with being the school’s AD, Magni teaches two periods of health.

Magni oversees an athletic department with more than 20 sports teams, including football, cross country, water polo, girls golf, girls tennis, girls volleyball, wrestling, boys basketball, girls basketball, boys soccer, girls soccer, swimming, track and field, baseball, boys golf, boys volleyball and softball.

“I think he should have been recognized a long time ago,” Central Valley varsity boys soccer head coach Omar Leon said. “He’s a great leader. He’s the type of guy that goes above and beyond for all of the sports programs at Central Valley. He’s always available. We can text or email him at any time if we need anything. You can always count on him.”

“The biggest challenge is the time commitment and attention to detail,” Magni said. “If you’re organized and willing to sacrifice evenings at home, it’s a great job. You can’t take breaks.”

Magni has been recognized for his dedication and hard work in the past.

He was chosen as one of the winners of the Norm MacKenzie “Rookie” Athletic Director of the Year Award during the 2014-15 school year.

He was named the California League of High Schools 2009 Educator of the Year.

Magni started as a substitute with Ceres Unified School District in 2001. He’s been a full-time teacher for 15 years, his first year at Ceres High School. He coached baseball and girls basketball at CHS for four and three years, respectively. 

“To be honest with you, I thought I’d coach baseball and teach English my entire career,” Magni said. “It (athletic director) is one of those jobs you can’t pass up. I was lucky. I was at the right place at the right time. It’s one of the better decisions I’ve made.”

Magni will be recognized in front of family, friends and peers at the 51st Annual CSADA Conference this April in San Diego.

“The No. 1 thing for me is the student-athletes,” he said. “I want to be good for them. Hopefully, they appreciate what I try to do for them.”