By Martin Gallegos
While he’s only been a part of the LPC athletic department since November, Athletic Assistant Justin Manamanawawaeone Santos is already hard at work with his sights set on big plans for the school’s athletic program.
“My biggest goal is to establish a brand,” Santos said. “I’d like the Las Positas College athletic department and school to be a recognized brand in the Bay Area and outside of Northern California. We’d like to attract students from all over and make this a desirable place for them to continue their education and athletic career.”
Aside from having degrees in Computer Studies and Recreational Therapy from Cal State East Bay, as well as Master’s Degrees in Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian Studies from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, Santos has a background in basketball. He played competitively all four years in college at University of Hawaii and Cal State East Bay. Although basketball is the sport he played, from soccer to swimming, Santos feels he can relate to all the athletes on campus.
“Basketball is what I’m most familiar with but I think getting to know all the sports has come really fast,” Santos said. “The common thread is everybody is competing. If you compete in one arena you can appreciate someone else’s grind and their drive to compete.”
As an athletic assistant, Santos works closely with LPC Athletic Director Dyan Miller to organize events along with handling other tasks for all sports on campus.
“We just provide support to all the intercollegiate athletic teams as well as the kinesiology classes,” Santos said. “That can range from setting up for an event to coordinating team schedules, confirmation on having officials. All the logistics that come with the classes or the teams like a game day event.”
One of the events that Santos is particularly excited for is the upcoming 2016/2017 Men and Women’s Basketball State Championships. LPC’s Costello Court will play host to both tournaments.
“That’s huge,” Santos said. “That gives the college and the community some exposure. One of the biggest compliments we get is when other schools come and play and they say ‘wow, you guys have a great facility.’ Coaches always say we’re already well-prepared to host the state tournament.”
Along with the various coaches on campus, the facilities at LPC were the first thing that jumped out at Santos when he arrived.
“Our facilities are awesome,” Santos said. “We probably have one of the nicest facilities in the state for a junior college. Our coaches are committed. The staff is committed.”
Santos now lives in Livermore with his wife, Jennifer, and his son, Jonah. Having lived here for a while now, he now considers the area just as much as home as Hawaii. He is committed to staying in the area and doing whatever it takes in order to help LPC become a well-known program throughout California.
“Whatever I do in the process to establish a brand is the overall goal.”