Gang takes over as Sierra A.D.

By: Jim Linsdau Gold Country News Service
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Trading Eagles for Wolverines, Thomas Gang is the new Sierra College associate dean of athletics. The former Mendocino College athletic director’s appointment was approved by the Sierra College board of trustees at its July meeting last Tuesday night. Gang takes over for recently retired Wolverine Athletic Director John Volek, after heading up the Mendocino athletic program the past two years. Gang was the Eagles’ football coach the previous eight years, winning three conference championships and earning two Coach of the Year nods. “The main reason I wanted to come to Sierra College was because of the athletic excellence over the years,” said Gang, complimenting his predecessor for the job done during Volek’s tenure. “This community really supports athletics and having that kind of support was big for me.” His 2004 team compiled a 3.04 overall GPA, which earned the Eagles the Scholastic Team Award as California’s top academic team. “(Improving) the behavior of an athlete and the focus of an athlete increases transfer rate,” said Gang. “Obviously, increasing transfer rates are tied to your academic performance.” As a collegian, Gang played for Modesto Jr. College after spending two years of active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps. After Modesto, the offensive lineman accepted a CSU Fullerton football scholarship and, in 1989, was named to the all-conference team. He earned a Master’s in Education from Grand Canyon University, a California Teaching Credential from Chapman University and a Bachelor’s degree from CSU Fullerton. “A lot of the duties you do and the ability to lead and direct as a coach are much the same as you use as an athletic director,” said Gang as to making the transition from coaching. Gang and wife, Stephanie, have six children and two grandchildren. Under John Volek, Sierra athletics gained national prominence by winning the inaugural Pepsi/NATYCAA cup for overall athletic excellence in 2003. Sierra is the only community college in the country to finish fourth or better in the NATYCAA standings every year since.