Multi-tasking is a huge part of the job of a school athletic director. So the job is a perfect fit for Ashley Coelho.
Coelho on Tuesday was named the new Athletic Director at Santa Ynez High. She takes over for Cris Avery, who accepted the position of assistant principal at Nipomo High.
Coelho has worn many hats in her nine years at Santa Ynez. First and foremost, she taught math. Outside the classroom, she coached cross country, basketball, track & field, golf and football.
The alum of St. Joseph High and UCSB plans to be an in-the-trenches AD, serving as an assistant wide receivers coach for the JV football team and assistant girls golf coach in the fall; assistant varsity girls basketball coach in the winter and head varsity and JV boys and girls track & field coach in the spring.
“I’m really excited about my new position, but I will definitely miss being in the classroom,” she said. “I’m thankful the administration has been supportive in my coaching endeavors because it allows me to still be involved as a positive role model for our youth through coaching.
“I also still have a classroom on campus, so I can provide athletes a place to get tutoring.”
Sara Ovadia will be taking over as head coach for the girls golf team.
“She is a golf professional who has been my assistant for five years, and her passion is golf and coaching,” Coelho said. “She has an excellent assistant coach, John Nicholas, who has been helping our girls golf program for many years. Our golf program will continue to excel and is in the best hands.”
As a student athlete at UCSB, Coelho competed in several events for the track & field team and helped the program win its first Big West championship in school history in 2005.
She served as an assistant track coach under Marilyn Hantgin at San Marcos in 2007 and earned her BA in mathematics that spring.
Coelho ended up getting her first teaching job at San Marcos in the fall.
“When I graduated, (Marilyn) mentioned San Marcos was looking for a math teacher; they had already been in session for two weeks,” Coelho said. “I applied and received an emergency teaching credential, and I helped coach the girls JV basketball team and the boys and girls track teams.”
In 2008, she worked as a Special Education Aid at Santa Barbara High and at Franklin Elementary School while taking classes to earn a full teaching credential.
“Once I completed the credential, there were no full-time math teaching opportunities in the Santa Barbara School District, so I became a long-term math sub for the 09-10 school year, teaching GATE Geometry, Geometry, and Honors Pre-Calculus for two different teachers on maternity leave at Dos Pueblos High School,” she said.
The full-time opportunity at Santa Ynez came in 2010.
Her multi-tasking abilities go back to her high school days at St. Joseph High. She was a four-sport athlete (track & field, volleyball, basketball and soccer) and a 4.0 student. She earned multiple all-league honors for all the sports.
Coelho’s greatest athletic accomplishments in high school were in track & field. She advanced to the CIF-SS Division Finals all four years and made it to the Masters Meet and CIF State Championships in the long jump in 2003.
Now she’s the head of the athletic department at Santa Ynez.
“I’ve always known that I wanted to be an athletic director at some point in my career, but I didn’t think the opportunity would come so soon,” she said.