Prospect • USC’s
Steve Lopes made his rounds on campus
Tuesday where he was being interviewed
for the athletic director position.
Tracey Roman / Online Forty-Niner
athletic director candidate interviewed
By Kyle Cavaness
Assistant Sports Editor
Steve Lopes, the second of three candidates for Cal State Long Beach athletic
director, was interviewed by the Committee on Athletics Tuesday.
Lopes is currently the senior associate athletic director at USC, where he
is in charge of the financial affairs of the athletic department. He also oversees
several sports, including being involved in the day-to-day management of the
men’s football and basketball programs. Lopes would fill the position
currently held by interim director Cindy Masner.
The people I’ve [met at CSULB] have been truly impressive,” Lopes
said about his visit.
Lopes has over two decades of experience in college athletics, as an administrator
and a player. He lettered all four years (1980-83) in football at Oregon’s
Linfield College, also lettering in wrestling and golf. Lopes graduated with
a bachelor’s degree in business and communication from Linfield in 1984,
after which he began his career at USC, starting the same year as an assistant
Lopes continued his education at USC while rising through the ranks of the
athletic department. He received two master’s degree from the school,
in athletic administration and business management, as well as a doctorate
in higher education administration from the University of Pennsylvania last
I feel that I am qualified, ready, willing and able to become [CSULB’s
athletic director],” Lopes said.
The committee, made up of faculty, staff and administration, discussed what
Lopes would do to ensure student athletes would keep up academically and be
an active part of the student body.
Student athletes...carry our banner,” said Brenda Vogel, professor of
criminal justice and committee chairwoman. “They represent us — they
are us [at sporting events].”
Lopes told the committee about various policies used at USC to make sure athletes
attend classes and tutoring sessions, including a form of attendance police” that
spot checks classes in which athletes are enrolled to make sure they were in
class when they were supposed to be. In his position at USC, Lopes delegates
the coaches to be the primary enforcers of the attendance policy.
As much as possible, it is important to keep athletes integrated in the student
body...and not secluded with their teammates,” Lopes said.
Lopes considers athletics to be another aspect of the college learning environment,
a philosophy he hopes to bring to CSULB. He holds barbecues for athletes at
the beginning of the season and makes sure to acknowledge the players when
he attends games.
It’s a matter of taking it personally,” said Lopes. “They
know, first and foremost, that I’m there and I care.”
The committee also discussed other aspects of the athletic director’s
position, including how to get the student body more involved in on-campus
athletics and improve game attendance.
Athletics is part of the student life and the institution,” said Lopes
. “[We would] get out of the athletic facility to bring visibility...if
the students don’t come to [games], we’ll come to them.”
Lopes, his wife and their two children live in Palos Verdes Estates, and his
interest in the athletic director position also comes from wanting to stay
in Southern California.
One of the reasons I am looking at this position is so I could keep my family
in the same place,” Lopes said. “I love where I live.”