New face on the field

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August 31, 2006, dawned a new era for Skyline’s exceptional athletics program. That day was marked as the inaugural first day of Joe Morello’s regime at Skyline, taking over for Andreas Wolf as the interim dean for the Physical Education, Dance and Athletics program.Wolf, who has been at Skyline for fifteen years, serving the first ten as the men’s soccer coach and the last five as dean of athletics, is not too far away, for he is now offering his services at CSM as their dean of athletics. “Last spring, my counterpart at CSM decided to retire and I thought I would investigate the opportunity,” said Wolf through an e-mail interview. “My final thought process on why to leave basically stemmed from the fact that I thought that the division was in a good place (sometimes it’s good to leave on a high note) and because I was looking for additional professional challenges.” Morello, who was hired sometime in mid-August, is highly qualified for the position in his own right. He started off at College of Marin in 1989, where he taught part-time as assistant baseball coach. Five years later, he began to teach full-time, eventually becoming their dean of physical education and athletics and serving until 2001. He then went on to Santa Rosa Junior College for two years and was their dean of physical education, dance and athletics, as well as their athletic director. And most recently, he was at UC Berkeley for three-and-a-half years, serving as advising coordinator in the athletics studies center.”For me, it was a few factors,” said Morello, when asked why he chose to come to Skyline. “Number one, it’s very close to where I live [San Francisco]. Secondly, I think going back into this system [junior college] was attractive to me. But to come back into an administrative position, and to have your hands on a program again and to feel like you’re making a difference at a more systematic level as opposed to an individual level was enticing to me. The third thing is that Skyline has a very good reputation; it always did state-wide.”Currently, Morello is serving on an interim basis until the spring semester, and said that he isn’t looking to add or subtract anything right off the bat. Right now, he’s in more of an “assessment” mode, figuring how everything in the athletics department works, and then going on from there. “On the athletic side, I want to strengthen the existing programs and hopefully hire full-time coaches so that they’re here all the time to serve the students,” said Morello, when asked if there was anything that he did want to work on.Morello, just like many of us at Skyline, is a product of the Bay Area. He grew up in Marin County and attended College of Marin and then transferred to USF, where he received his bachelor’s degree in physical education. “I know that I can do a good job, and I’m hopeful that I can get it full-time after that.” said Morello. “His [Morello’s] managerial style, organizational abilities, disciplinary experience and positive outlook will provide the division with appropriate leadership,” said Wolf. “Joe will also provide new direction and stimulation to the division.”