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The AD Q&As: Steve Waldeck, The Master’s College

Posted: July 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.

The Master’s College announced the hiring of Steve Waldeck as its athletic director in late June. He replaces Paul Berry, who ran the program since the 2001-02 school year.

 

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of Q&As The Signal is conducting with every Santa Clarita Valley sports program’s athletic director. The purpose of it is to give you, our readers, an insight to the athletic issues at each school and to also get you more familiarized with the athletic programs, who is running the school’s athletic programs and what their opinions are.

The Master’s College may be headed into a new era for its athletics.

That era begins with the introduction of newly-named athletic director Steve Waldeck.

Waldeck, the brother of TMC women’s basketball head coach Dan Waldeck, is leaving his job as the director of university recreation at Central Washington University.

He worked at CWU for 13 years, where he helped build the number of collegiate sport clubs up to 25. Before that, he served as the director of student activities and intramural athletics at TMC from 1993-98.

He graduated from TMC in 1993.

When Waldeck takes over, he’ll have to deal with ongoing budget issues and the shrinking Golden State Athletic Conference, which is slated to lose three teams in the coming years.

Azusa Pacific University, Point Loma Nazarene and California Baptist have all been approved to move up the NCAA Division II level according to the schools’ websites.

Waldeck plans to arrive on campus early next month.

What are your expectations coming in knowing what you do about TMC athletics?

One of the things I was very impressed with is the level of commitment with the coaches that are already there. One of the things that I expect from them, and they’ve already told me they expect, is excellence. They expect excellence out of their athletes.

What challenges do you anticipate facing, especially given some schools in the Golden State Athletic Conference will be moving to Division II?

I think there’s going to be some challenges within the conference and saying, “What are we going to do with this.” We want to continue competing with the teams that remain in the conference and we want to continue competing at a high level.

Coming from a Division II athletic institution like CWU, what differences do you expect coming into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics?

That the product of athletics that gets put on the field and on the court and on the track, I think is very similar in NAIA. Obviously with NAIA, most of the schools are private, religious schools and they are mission-based. When you’re going to talk just the athletics, it’s very similar.

What are some other issues you plan on having to deal with?

One of the things I’ve been able to see is how to attract people to events with a small student body (of 8,000 at CWU). ... You have to look at what does it take to stay current, to attract students to your institution and keep up-to-date facilities and an up-to-date product. ... There’s already a commitment to see where we can find missing money for scholarships. That’s exciting to me, when they’re already saying that’s in the works. ... Certainly it’s going to take some innovation and some effort to get some more money in. ... It’s going to take planning. It’s probably going to be a year to 18 months of planning and starting to implement a plan very sequentially.

What do you plan to do specifically to attract recruits and raise money for the athletic department?

That’s a big thing that isn’t just about wins and losses. And I really hope that our athletic department is imbedded in Santa Clarita. I know they already do summer camps and different programs. ... I’ve been blessed with four boys of my own that are all little athletes, and that’s been a big part of my life for a while.

How do you address each program in terms of evaluating successful programs and programs like the men’s and women’s basketball teams, which have struggled in recent years?

We do want to return to that level of national prominence. I think it’s been three or four years since women’s basketball has been to the (NAIA Tournament) and I think even longer since the men’s team. One year it can be an injury, the next year it can be one little thing. If it goes on for five or six years, that’s a different story. If we see trends that are moving away from that (prominence), we can address that. ... The process is going to start with the head coaches and getting to know them, their strengths, their passions, understanding what they’re gifted at. And then from there, it’s understanding where each program is and what their budget is. ... Each one is really going to be its own little project.

What type of athletes do you like to see the coaches target as recruits?

At (TMC), they are looking for student athletes, first and foremost, and ones that love the Lord, Jesus Christ. And then, what they’re looking for after that are kids that are going to come in and be good students. ... We want to attract the best possible athletes we can. If we can attract Division I-level talent, we’ll take them.

Do you have a favorite sport?

For my family, it’s soccer. ... That’s not to say I’m going to have a bias toward soccer. I’ll support all our athletic programs with equal fervor.

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