Chad Ross takes over as new athletic director


Christine Wang

Chad Ross became Cal High’s new athletic director in August.

Marcus Chalasani, Staff Writer

New athletic director Chad Ross was getting sports scholarships as a Grizzly before iPhones existed.
Now as Cal High’s athletic director, Ross supports student-athletes and coaches to ensure the school’s athletic programs are a positive representation of the Grizzlies. Ross also works behind the scenes scheduling practices and games on campus, answering any questions parents or athletes may have, and constantly working to improve the athletic program.
Ross’s goal for Cal is to build a culture that uplifts athletes to achieve their potential. He aims for Cal to be viewed as a school filled with athletes who show dedication, a passion for sports and demonstrate sportsmanship at the highest level. And one day, he knows Cal will become just that.
¨I feel like I can give back to a place that gave so much for myself,¨ Ross explained about his new job opportunity.
Athletic directors are responsible for making sure every team has enough funding, practices are schedules, and much more. Traits Ross picked up as a student athlete help him manage all these responsibilities for all of Cal’s athletic teams.
Ross was a star athlete for both the baseball and basketball teams during his time at Cal. After graduating in 2001 and attending Oklahoma City University on a baseball scholarship, Ross coached baseball at several colleges and high schools, including Cal (2012-2014) and San Ramon Valley (2021-2022) high schools. He also coached at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore., (2015-2017), Chabot College in Hayward (2009-2012), and for multiple travel ball organizations.
Ross said he learned a lot from being around other coaches and mentors all of these years. He learned how to teach, motivate, organize, and build a competitive and positive team culture, all elements he hopes to bring to Cal as an athletic director.
“I think what stood out for me with him is that he had a fair perspective of women’s and men’s sports,” said assistant principal Rhonda Taft, who oversees athletics. “Ross communicates very well, He will tell us, ‘Hey, the girls have a game tonight’, and that helps a lot because we get so busy.”
From as early as elementary school, Ross found a passion for sports. Eventually, his passion brought him to the various sports offered at Cal, where his dedication and talent truly began to shine.
“Ross was an amazing pick for baseball as he was talented. He could hit the ball and spray it around the field,” said current Cal golf coach Mike Pottinger, who was Ross’s former baseball and basketball coach. “In basketball, it was his leadership and raw talent.”
But being a star student-athlete came with its challenges. Ross said he found himself juggling between his social life, sports and academics.
“I think it’s important to know that everybody is going to have those time management issues,” Ross said. “And have those hectic days, I remember them vividly.”
It’s common for Grizzlies to feel overwhelmed and stressed from the various classes and extracurriculars they may be involved with. Ross believes that everyone has different ways of finding success during busy times. His method for dealing with time management issues is quite effective and simple.
“You should have a really good support system,” Ross said. “For example, let me call this person, or let’s go get pizza with that person. Introducing that support system is crucial for people struggling with balancing their additional responsibilities.”
During his time in school Ross found that focusing on himself instead of others elevated him to new heights. During his high school basketball tryouts, Ross focused on himself instead of worrying about whether or not others would make it on the team and where he ranks among them.
“All you can do is just focus on how you perform to the best of your ability and then let them fall where they should,” Ross said. “I think too many people are caught up playing the numbers game.”
From his past experiences as a Grizzly, Ross decided to become an athletic director at his old high school because he hoped he could make a difference. His passion for Cal is evident through his diligent work ethic and cheerful attitude towards everyone.
“I love the people at Cal,” Ross said. “They are so welcoming and open-minded, I feel like my colleagues are committed to helping out students.”
Ross knows that he has a strong support system behind him because his colleagues are dedicated to the well-being of students at Cal.