Spring 2014
Longtime Athletics Director Alex Rivera to Helm New Athletic Initiatives Program

Longtime Athletics Director Alex Rivera to Helm New Athletic Initiatives Program

Beginning July 1, Alex Rivera will have a brand-new job at Prep: director of athletic initiatives. Garrett Ohara ’84 (a former student) will succeed Rivera as athletics director (Click here for more about Garrett Ohara ’84).

A fixture on campus since 1978, when he was hired by John Plumb ’64 and Jim Wood to teach PE and coach basketball, Rivera has taught PE to every grade level and coached football, basketball, baseball, soccer and volleyball. He became Prep’s athletics director in 1986, developing girls’ sports, leading teams to championships, moving from 8-man to 11-man football and overseeing the day-to-day workings of the athletics department.

As director of athletic initiatives, Rivera will head up the Athletic Council on Leadership (ACL), create and oversee new sports initiatives in LA and Nicaragua and develop alumni athletic-affinity groups. He’ll also help the Prep League Athletic Council, deepening ties to other schools in the League.

Longtime Athletics Director Alex Rivera to Helm New Athletic Initiatives Program
“Even with all the new buildings on campus, and new programs and ideas, Prep is still small and beautiful, inside and out.”    — Alex Rivera

Rivera loves the idea of reconnecting with alumni.

“I love seeing all the old-timers,” he says. “I never get enough of the history, of their history here. Every time there’s a reunion I find out something else, like who put the Mickey Mouse hands on the clock tower. I still haven’t found out who took the Poly scoreboard before a baseball game in the ’80s, so I still have work to do.”

Some of his ideas for alumni sports-related activities are hosting members of teams, like the Class of ‘49 championship football team, or involving alumni in service projects like the upcoming 5K run for La Mascota on June 14 and the 5K on July 4 in honor of JP Blecksmith ’99.

“I’m open to ideas!” he says. “Call me!”

Rivera says he sees his new position as, “supporting Peter Bachmann’s goals and dreams that Prep should become a more outward-focused, even globally focused, school. We’re creating a strong partnership with another great school, St. Mary’s, in Nicaragua; we are deepening ties with the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena and growing the program there.”

Longtime Athletics Director Alex Rivera to Helm New Athletic Initiatives Program

As he takes on his new position, Rivera says, “I’m spending three-quarters of my day doing this already; it’s my passion. Every time I’ve moved on from one role to another, I’ve done it with a smile on my face.”

Rivera has rarely been without a smile since coming to campus. What hasn’t changed in 36 years, he says, is “the families and the kids. That was the first thing I noticed when I got here: how respectful the kids are, how supportive the parents are. Even with all the new buildings on campus, and new programs and ideas, Prep is still small and beautiful, inside and out.

“There have been only two headmasters since I came, and for both Ed Anderson and Peter Bachmann, I’ve felt I worked with them, not for them. That’s the beauty of Prep. They, along with my kids, my parents and my wife, are the reasons I come to work with a smile on my face every day.”