ARC athletics dean and athletic director retires

Dean of Athletics Greg Warzecka is retiring after a nearly forty year career in the field. He has been at ARC since 2012. (Photo courtesy of American River College)

After three years at the helm, American River College Dean of Athletics and Athletic Director Greg Warzecka officially resigned on July 31, leaving ARC and college athletics after a nearly 40-year career in the field, 30 years of which he spent as athletic director of a college.

According to Warzecka, the search for his replacement has been difficult, and he anticipates it possibly taking until the beginning of the spring semester to be finished, with fall’s Dean of Athletics being an interim hire.

Warzecka, who turned 64 last April, came to ARC in 2012 after retiring from his position as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at UC Davis, where over 16 years he lead the athletic program that was in NCAA’s Division-II and did not offer scholarships, to eventually a Division-I program that offered $6 million in scholarships annually.

Warzecka said this time, retirement might stick.

“I just want to walk down a different path for the rest of my life. I’m not quite sure what that path is,” he said.

He plans to take off work completely this year until Christmas, and at that time reevaluate his future.

“If I like that and feel comfortable, I won’t work anymore,” said Warzecka. “If I feel like I need to add something to my life, I might go back and do some things in a different capacity.”

When Warzecka’s wife passed away in January, it caused him to pause and recollect his thoughts on how committed he wanted to be to his job; a job he says that’s big enough for three people to do, but had been only his.

“I’ve been on the road during Thanksgiving so many years, be it Texas, Oklahoma, I spent 16 years at UC Davis where the teams were so successful that the (football) team was always on the road during the holidays,” said Warzecka.

“(ARC) will miss him, and I know I will.”
—Mary Tervooren, administrative assistant for the kinesiology department

Mitchel Benson, currently the public information officer for the Los Rios District, also worked with Warzecka at UC Davis, and was involved with him and the school going through “some of the highest highs and lowest lows.”

UC Davis reclassified as Division I in 2003 after years of dominating as a Division II school, and has seen continued success since.

The university also was recognized for it’s above and beyond approach to upholding Title IX in academic sports, which mandates equal opportunity for both men and women’s sports when federally funded.

Benson called Warzecka “Incredibly solid, and of the highest character,” while also adding that he was “pretty unflappable” in the face of difficulties while on the job.

Mary Tervooren, administrative assistant for the kinesiology department, agreed with Benson’s assessment.

“Situations arise and he’s able to meet them very clear-headed,” said Tervooren, who has worked with Warzecka since he came to ARC.

“(ARC) will miss him, and I know I will.”

Warzecka’s career in athletics began as a collegiate athlete at Citrus College, playing football there before transferring to Berkeley and obtaining a degree in physical education and a master of science in athletic administration at CSU Heyward.

He then served as an assistant coach for Berkeley’s baseball team, before going on to be head coach for San Francisco State University and for the University of Chicago, where he became athletic director for the first time.

His return to California came when he was named athletic director of the University of Redlands, where he remained until his time at UC Davis.

Altogether, a long, storied career that he will now walk away from, maybe temporarily, to focus on other interests.

“I want to go travel and see places I’ve never been before. I want to go to spring training in Arizona, I want to go to the College World Series in Omaha,” said Warzecka.

“On August 1st, I’ll walk down a different path.”

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About the Author

Kameron Schmid
Kameron Schmid is a fifth-semester student on the Current, where he serves as Multimedia editor. He previously served as Editor-in-chief, Arts and Culture editor, and Sports editor. He is majoring in journalism and plans to transfer after graduation.

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