New athletic director promises parity

Anthony Thomas says he’s a “big advocate of girls.”

Cassie Eskicioglu, Senior Reporter

The new head of athletics and physical education has already met with all sports teams and athletic directors across the four divisions to share his goal of unifying all athletic programs

and offering equal opportunities for all athletics.

Anthony Thomas just began working at Convent & Stuart Hall after over 20 years as an athletic director including Sacred Heart sister school Sacred Heart Preparatory in Atherton.

“I am here to oversee the entire four-school program, then work with the division directors to try to make sure that we are doing things admirably and in a way that benefits everyone,” Thomas said.

In part of his introduction to the varsity and junior varsity tennis teams, Thomas shared his goals for the team including working directly with the coaches to create more challenging practices and increased availability of facilities for students.

“He wants to give us the tools to be able to win,” sophomore Isabella Parmenter said. “We will have a lot more practices where we won’t be on the tennis courts at all. Instead, we will be in the gym or the fitness room lifting weights or running on the treadmill because he thinks strength is very important.”

Thomas also discussed the qualities of a leader and captain during the Captain’s Council meeting held Sept. 20, according to sailing team co-captain Lulu Desai.

“I definitely think the athletic program is going to change a little bit, it is going to become more Convent & Stuart Hall, less of just Convent and separate Stuart Hall,” Desai said. “I think that is going to be really good for spirit and getting people excited to come to games and be part of all of the sports.”

Convent Athletic Director Elena De Santis and with SHHS Athletic Director Charley Johnson will work directly with Thomas to manage both the athletics and physical education programs.

“He has really brought [the divisions] together so we can all utilize our strengths to benefit all of the programs,” De Santis said. “We are one big team just like any sports team, where it is not just one person doing everything, but working together.”

Thomas says he hopes to focus his time specifically on Convent athletics, aiming to create more opportunities for female athletes through the addition of new sports teams, such as lacrosse and beach volleyball.

“I am a big advocate of girls and sports,” Thomas said. “I am the only boy — I have three older sisters — so I grew up in a household of women and know how important it is. My focus will really be on Convent and how we can improve.”

Many students, including junior Elizabeth Worthington, have already worked with Thomas.

“He is very determined to make beneficial changes this year,” Worthington said. “He has been very helpful in communicating with the lacrosse community across San Francisco to start a team here.”

Thomas plans to call on the input of student-athletes for feedback on what is or what is not working in the athletic program, in an effort to understand how to benefit the athletic department as a whole.

“I will be [the students’] Number 1 fan,” Thomas said. “I want students to know that I am going to advocate for them and what they want to achieve.”