New Kinesiology department improvements promote student-athlete success

The improvements within Skyline’s Kinesiology Department over the past year has helped student-athletes achieve their academic and athletic goals.

There is not a single, straightforward change that is responsible for the Trojans’ success. Rather, there is a continued effort to improve every facet of the student’s experience. A combination of new faculty, kinesiology classes, and sport-specific rooms that came within the past few months proved to be beneficial for Skyline’s student-athletes.

Joseph Morello Jr., the Dean of Kinesiology, Athletics, and Dance, said that this year’s teams are doing a fine job balancing school, work and practice because of the department’s various advancements.

“Our teams have been competing well this year,” Morello said. “Our team grade point averages are strong and coaches, with the help of their assistants, continue to support students academically and athletically. We are also having the largest group of student-athletes this year graduate with an AA, AS or ADT degree.”

The most significant improvement was the addition of the new full-time men’s soccer coach and Kinesiology instructor, Gabe Saucedo.

“Gabe had over 30 students try out for the team and finished the season 8-8-4 and in second place in our division in conference,” Morello said. “The wins and conference finish were the best we’ve had over the past 8 years.”

Kevin Corsiglia, an associate Kinesiology professor and head women’s soccer coach, also noted that Saucedo helps student-athletes fulfill their academic needs in addition to their athletic goals.

“The addition of a full-time coach will benefit the department by providing Skyline students with another qualified Kinesiology instructor to teach our activity-based courses that are an integral part of the graduation requirement,” Corsiglia said. “Coach Saucedo’s hiring will also benefit the community in general, as our soccer program will now have greater outreach to the local high schools.”

Kayla Crittendon is another new addition to the department. Crittendon is a part-time athletic trainer who is stationed in the athletic training room under the Head Athletic Trainer, Jose Bonilla. Crittendon works specifically to support all student-athletes.

“It’s been wonderful to have Kayla on board as an additional resource to help students that are injured,” Morello said.

Christopher Watters, the Head Coach of the women’s basketball team, said the department’s major advancement are the new kinesiology classes.

“Last year the Kinesiology department added a few new academic courses that help students working toward an AA in Kinesiology,” Watters said. “I’d like to see us continue to add more of those in the future as the popularity of our major continues to rise.”

Furthermore, new spaces designed for specific teams have also proven to be beneficial for student-athletes who use it.

“The women’s basketball team room promotes team unity and demonstrates a concern for the program from the department.” Watters said.

Corsiglia added that the newly built spaces for the baseball team have brought Skyline up to par with the other baseball programs in the district.

“Last fall, the district completed construction of the baseball locker room and field house which provides the program with a much needed instructional space,” Corsiglia said.

However, Corsiglia noted that the coaches, teams, and athletic program as a whole benefit the most from Morello’s leadership and constant support.

“Although we work with a limited budget and most teams rely on fundraising to support may of their program goals and needs, Dean Morello always makes sure we have the necessary equipment and resources to compete at a high level with the other colleges in the Bay Area,” Corsiglia said.

The variety of recent developments in the Kinesiology and Athletics department center around supporting students accomplish their educational and athletic goals during their college career.

“I think that changes to both the academic and athletic side show our student-athletes that academics are, and should be, the priority,” Watters said. “Making academics and athletics more inclusive will lead directly to program growth.”