Rocco Constantino has stepped down as the athletic director at Santa Barbara City College to take an AD position at a four-year college in his home state of New Jersey, Noozhawk has learned.
“It was a difficult decision to make for sure, but Covid really kind of put things in perspective when it came to my family, Constantino said in an email to Noozhawk. “I saw this job posted and decided to give it a shot and was offered the position.”
Constantino is headed to Middlesex College after guiding the SBCC Athletic Department since July of 2017.
The Vaqueros enjoyed great success during his tenure. In his first year, they finished 10th in the state in overall program success in the postseason, and No. 1 in the Western State Conference.
In 2019, SBCC won five WSC titles and had three teams (baseball, men’s soccer and men’s volleyball) earn Scholar Team Awards from the California Community College Athletic Association, the state governing body.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit SBCC and the athletic department hard. The campus was closed, students took classes remotely and the college administration elected to opt out of participating in all sports during the school year.
Constantino made sure he stayed in contact with his coaches, and planned for the return of sports in the 2021-22 academic year.
He was instrumental in getting the SBCC Vaqueros Hall of Fame established and inducted its first class in 2019.
Among his other accomplishments, he spearhead an effort to add women’s beach volleyball as the school’s 20th intercollegiate sport.
More recently, he worked to get a new turf field at La Playa Stadium, which is under construction.
In addition to his work at SBCC, Constantino was a key member of the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, serving on the board of directors of the all-volunteer organization that supports local athletics.
When the pandemic prevented the organization from holding its 2020 Night of the Athletes awards ceremony in person, Constantino stepped up and designed graphics for the award winners that were presented on noozhawk.com and on social media platforms.
“I will miss a lot about Santa Barbara for sure. It feels like I have been here for longer than four years and there wasn’t one day where I felt like an outsider,” he said. “That was because of all the great people I met at SBCC and in the community.
“I will also remember all of the great things we accomplished. I look back and in just four years we were able to start up the SBCC Hall of Fame, get the new turf project approved, start work on the new gym, establish two new programs (women’s beach volleyball and men’s diving) and start up our Trunk or Treat community Halloween event, among other things.
“We really did a lot in four years. But when it comes down to it, I will remember the great people I met here the most.”
— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.