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The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

SueEllen Thomas becomes new Dougherty Valley athletic director

New athletic director SueEllen Thomas settles into her new office in Room A120.
New athletic director SueEllen Thomas settles into her new office in Room A120.

Prior to the start of the 2023-24 school year, Principal Evan Powell named SueEllen Thomas the new athletic director of Dougherty Valley High School.

Thomas has an long history of working with athletes. After a brief stint coaching at the collegiate level, she played for the Women’s Basketball Association (WBA) on a team called the Oklahoma Cougars. Following this, she worked for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), where she helped run the NCAA Women’s Finals Four and their National Camps.

“I’m truly blessed to work with athletes my whole life. It’s my calling,” Thomas said. “It’s where I am.”

Upon leaving the WBCA, Thomas headed to the West Coast, where she got married and started a family with three children. Alongside her ex-husband, Paul, who was the former head coach of the women’s basketball team, Thomas won back-to-back NCAA Division II National Championships in 2001 and 2002 at Cal Poly Pomona. Later on she took over as the head coach of women’s basketball at St. Mary’s in 2006.

Outside of her athletic background, Thomas’ teaching career has taken her to several districts across the Bay Area. She has been an elementary and middle school teacher, coach of multiple sports and the vice principal of Concord High School prior to her time at Dougherty. With her extensive experience, Thomas hopes to ensure the future success of Dougherty Valley’s athletic programs.

“I’m aware of the excellence that’s expected here, and my goal is to sit back and learn more about the DV culture,” Thomas said. “‘Team’ is a big word here. [Dougherty is] very team-oriented and about ‘how could we help?’”

With her extensive experience, Thomas hopes to ensure the future success of Dougherty Valley’s athletic programs.

Her tenure as vice principal at Concord High School isn’t her only stint as an administrator. In addition to her position as athletic director, Thomas also serves as an assistant principal at DV. While trying to balance the responsibilities between the two roles, Thomas has noticed a difference between her roles as athletic director and vice principal. For one, some of the responsibilities of an athletic director go unnoticed, though still important.

“Being an athletic director is like an iceberg: 90 percent [of the work happens] behind the scenes and the other 10 percent is seen,” Thomas explained.

Last year, Dougherty Valley didn’t have an athletic director, so Thomas’ appointment is expected to bring stability and leadership to the Wildcat athletic programs. As for her own goals, Thomas wants to work towards attaining a brighter future of Wildcat athletics and continuing her assimilation into the school.

“I am thrilled to be here now, working with this fabulous community, administrative team and student body to help achieve the goal of ‘leveling up’ as we move into this school year.”

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About the Contributor
Chriztian (Zoei) Torres, Sports Copy Editor
Zoei joined the Tribune because of his strong connection and knowledge of sports. Last year, Zoei took J1 at DV and over the summer interned for The Daily Californian's sports department as a staff writer. He hopes to broaden his knowledge of DV sports and connect with them better throughout the year. In his free time, Zoei likes to workout or go out to The City to watch some Giants baseball. If Zoei could be any other person on the Tribune, he would be Nishita because of her massive crush on Joe Burrow.

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