By Mike Miller
The Nordhoff athletic department has a new leader in Dave Monson, who takes over for Dick Sebek after six years of running Ranger athletics. Monson has coached girls’ basketball and soccer at NHS and also had some boys’ basketball coaching experience prior to coming to Nordhoff.
The new duties and responsibilities are welcome ones for Monson. He said, “I am excited and a little nervous at the same time. I am an athlete at heart and I believe in the benefits of sports for young people, so I am excited about this opportunity.”
When asked what can be expected in the post-Sebek era, Monson added, “I plan to carry on the Ranger traditions and build on what Dick has done over the years. He brought a very stable and calm approach to the position and I hope to continue that. One thing that I really hope to emphasize is giving the coaches as much time with their kids as possible. I will do more of the administrative stuff, like paperwork so that the coaches can have more time with their teams.”
Monson will also be looking to ensure that his student-athletes learn the important lessons that sports can teach. “I want the experience as a Ranger athlete to be a positive one that has lasting effects on our kids. They will get the best coaching possible and they will also learn things like teamwork, problem solving and hopefully they will gain self- confidence that will last long after they leave Nordhoff.”
The duty of working with Ojai’s youth is not one that Monson takes lightly. “The biggest influence on me as a teacher and a coach has been being a parent myself. Whenever I am working with someone else’s child, I often ask myself, how would I want my kids to be treated in this situation? That impacts my decision making greatly.”
A major area of concern for high school sports programs all over the nation is looming budget cuts and what impact they may have on their ability to function. “I will be a strong voice regarding budget cuts to our programs and I will look for creative ways to raise funding so that we can ensure that our program is financially stable. We are so fortunate that the community has been so supportive over the years and it will be important to continue those relationships,” added Monson.
Monson concluded by saying, “Winning and losing isn’t the ultimate goal. Molding and shaping young people through sports is more important than winning, but certainly bringing more championships to Nordhoff will be nice.”