By Ray Hamill — Less than two weeks into the job, new Humboldt State Athletic Director Jane Teixeira is adapting to her new role in what are challenging and unique circumstances.
In the midst of the ongoing lockdown, Teixeira has been getting to know the staff and building relationships within the local community.
“I’m now probably fully invested in Zoom stock,” she joked while chatting online with local media on Friday afternoon. “I spend a lot of time on Zoom.”
The new department head addressed numerous issues facing HSU sports these days, including the hiring of a new men’s basketball head coach, a process she says is moving right along with 90 plus applicants already.
“We’ve had a lot of interest and we’re working through that process right now,” Teixeira said, adding that “I’m sure we can attract a quality person for that position and keep moving forward.”
Among the other issues she addressed on Friday was the fall sports schedule and attempting to rebuild relationships with the local sports community after a controversial few years within the department that included the elimination of the football program.
“We’re planning on being open for business in the fall,” she said, while admitting there will be a contingency plan if needed.
As she did when the hire was first announced in February, Teixeira again stressed on Friday that she will be available to boosters and members of the community who have been frustrated with the direction of the department in recent years, and she has begun the process of reaching out to them.
“I think it’s important to rebuild those relationships and answer questions I can answer,” she said. “I can’t fix what happened in the past, I can only take us from where we are and move us forward.
“I will be willing to listen and I’m willing to take their points and understand them.
“We’re looking forward to working hand in hand and side by side with the Humboldt county community and all of our alumni who are proud of where they got their degree from, and we want to make them proud again.”
Athletics and enrollment
When asked about the role athletics can play in helping solve the enrollment problems at the school — with a 20 percent drop expected this fall — the new department head said, “I think athletics is a driver that way, I think it’s one of the great recruitment tools, to have athletics, whether it be club sports, recreational sports, intramurals or intercollegiate athletics.”
She added there will be an emphasis on trying to build the team rosters numbers wise.
Teixeira also said she expects to be here for the long haul, giving some stability to a department that has had four different ADs in five years.
“I do see it as a place where I can grow and stay,” she said. “And I’ll be here as long as the institution will have me and we feel like it’s a great fit for both of us,”
Teixeira also said the department is looking to change some things with the annual fundraising celebrity dinner and auction, which has been pushed back from April to the fall due to the coronavirus.
“We’ve got some ideas, we’ll see how they pan out,” she said.