Student Voice

Manakas moves Raiders forward

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Manakas moves Raiders forward

Vance Manakas, Athletic Director, shows his equal focus on all sports at Moorpark College Photo credit: James Schaap

Vance Manakas, Athletic Director, shows his equal focus on all sports at Moorpark College Photo credit: James Schaap

Vance Manakas, Athletic Director, shows his equal focus on all sports at Moorpark College Photo credit: James Schaap

Vance Manakas, Athletic Director, shows his equal focus on all sports at Moorpark College Photo credit: James Schaap

By Mano Baghjajian

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Vance Manakas has been a part of Moorpark College Athletics for over 30 years. Starting in 1981 as a trainer, he has moved his way up the ladder of Moorpark College Athletics. After serving as Interim Athletic Director of Moorpark College for the past year, Manakas has officially been named the full time Athletic Director.

“I feel relieved,” said Manakas. “Now we can go forward and continue some of the projects that we have started.”

Manakas’s path began at Cal State Fullerton, where he studied physical education. After graduating, Manakas attended the University of Arizona where he received his master’s degree in physical education with a focus on athletic training. Manakas then moved on to become a trainer at Moorpark College, on his 24th birthday, Aug. 3, 1981. As a result of his work here at Moorpark, Manakas was inducted into CCATA (California Community College Athletic Trainers Association) Hall of Fame in April 2012.

Manakas’s main focus as Athletic Director is for the student athletes here at Moorpark College to be just that, students. He wants students to not only do well on the field, but to be successful in the classroom to give them the opportunities that they deserve.

“That’s what Moorpark College is all about,” said Manakas. “[They] are truly student athletes, students first. We want our teams to be successful on the playing field, but there is no question we want them to be successful in the classroom.”

To help the student athletes achieve good grades, Manakas has started a study hall program for the athletes. It is currently in a pilot stage, the program is being tested out to see how helpful it will be for the players. The men’s baseball team is required 2 hours of study hall a week this season. Players from other sports like football and soccer are also taking advantage of study hall, but this semester is more of a test. If all goes well, the study hall program will be implemented for all teams in Fall 2017.

Manakas already has big challenges ahead of him for next semester. Two new sports, wrestling and beach volleyball are being brought to the college. He is now in the process of hiring a full time volleyball coach and a wrestling coach. Manakas described the importance of finding the right person, someone who holds academics at the same level of importance as athletics.

The school is remodeling the gymnasium, which is great for the school, but could cause some problems for teams that need to use it for practices.

“We are gonna get through it,” said Manakas. “If that means calling up Cal Lutheran, calling up Royal or Simi High School saying, ‘hey can we use your facility’, we will be doing it.”

Manakas also wants to look out for emerging sports that students would be interested in participating in such as women’s wrestling. He wants to focus on giving students the opportunities to participate in things they may be interested in. Another goal is to possibly bring back the men’s and women’s tennis teams.

When people think of Moorpark College Athletics, Manakas wants people to think of not only great athletes, but great people who are responsible and able to achieve their life goals.

“We want our athletes to be able to develop the skills to live the type of life they want to live,” said Manakas. “Through education is the best way to achieve that, so we are gonna provide that education and all the support for our student athletes to achieve their goals in life.”

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About the Writer
Mano Baghjajian, Sports editor

Mano Baghjajian is the Sports editor for the Student Voice. His passion for storytelling greatly influenced his choice in studying journalism at Moorpark...

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