The AD Corner: Spring 2020

The AD Corner: Spring 2020

by Cerwin D Haynes


With all sports currently on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it's a good time to catch up with East Los Angeles College's Athletic Director and football head coach Bobby Godinez. Via email chat, we cover the overall status of Huskies' Athletics operations, whether there will be sports in Fall 2020 and, lastly, his football program.


  1. How is the Athletics Department faring with no sports going on currently? To an outsider, one would think that Athletics is dormant right now. But that's not necessarily the case, is it?

    GODINEZ: Right now athletics is in a position to really thrive moving forward, especially here at ELAC.  We've added some great staff pieces to the department to create a culture of support and positivity.  Although the sports teams are currently at a standstill considering the current pandemic the athletic staff is continuing to build structure from within the department.  Cerwin Haynes (responsible for sports information) has been vital to updating the community on our continuous success in transferring athletes, perfecting the website, and also keeping our campus community updated with what we have to look forward to once we are able to return to campus.  Tisa Maxwell (Senior Office Assistant/athletics secretary/eligibility clerk) has been a huge addition in bringing experience from the administrative side of athletics.  Her efforts have been instrumental in optimizing our output as a department and we wouldn't be thriving if it weren't for welcoming her.  We have great days ahead of us, but still so much work to do during this time.
    1. On the Coaches end of things it becomes even busier.  Our coaches are currently converting all their athletics classes over to online formats such as Canvas and hosting meetings through Zoom.  Our responsibility is exponential considering we need to continue to bridge these student athletes from spring to summer and then to fall.  Our population is so unique and we, as coaches, have such an on hands approach that we must not only guide them through the classroom setting, but continue to help them with their matriculation process in their 2-year time frame.  

  2. Will there be sports in the Fall? We're hearing that it possible that Fall classes at ELAC will be 75% online. The school seems to be prepping for a very limited amount of student traffic on campus. 

    GODINEZ: There is no telling what will happen in the fall, but I do believe our fall sports will be played.  This is such a fluid situation that things can be different from day to day, therefore it is hard to speculate as to any exact date.  I believe there will be some sort of condensed version of fall sports, but it will take a lot of effort and support from college administration to help us through this. 

  3.  If Fall sports proceed, would it be safe to assume it would do so spectator-free? And how would a coach theoretically balance social distancing while holding practices?

    1. Considering all the changes daily there is probably a good chance that if we are allowed to compete there will be people allowed to spectate, but that is for a decision at another time.
    2. I don't believe you can compete with the current social distancing platform. However, I believe as things change for the better we can efficiently find the common ground to be in a safe environment and still compete in athletics.

  4. On to football: normally, you would be holding Spring practice and intrasquad games right now. Since you can't, what are you able to do to manage your players' progress during this time?

    GODINEZ: Football has been a lot of distance teaching.  We zoom every single day with all different positions.  This includes film study, workouts and question and answers.  Our staff has done an unbelievable job (also considering nobody at this level in any sport is compensated for their efforts) and their residual outcomes will carry over into our season.

  5. Despite the shutdown, it hasn't stopped some of your players from receiving transfer offers. Talk a bit about that process and about the offers your players have received.

    GODINEZ: Our coaches never stop working for our student athletes.  One of our biggest responsibilities at this level is to matriculate and move our student athletes on to the NCAA or NAIA levels.  We relentlessly push our student athletes out to every single college in the country, regardless of level, and we take much pride in the success we've had.  Our football program has seen 93 players receive scholarship offers in the current staff's 4-year period and those numbers are unprecedented.  Even now, we have players who will be playing next year for us continue to pull in offers.  That's a huge credit to our student athletes, athletic counselors, and coaches for continuing to work during this time.

  6. In 2018 you made the decision to move the team from the American Metro League to the National Northern League. A few observers have expressed worry that the move consistently provides ELAC with more difficult opponents. What's your vision and rationale for the move? What kind of results have you seen from the program since moving leagues?

    GODINEZ: East Los Angeles College football is at the height of where we've ever been.  The transition to the National Division comes with its challenges because we play the best community college teams in the country week in and week out.  This is a daunting task, but our athletes are up to that challenge and continue to strive for a conference and state championship.  You can see through our scholarship numbers that the level of talent and passion has never been higher here.  Lets also not forget that in the current ELAC regime no group of coaches and players have ever won more games in a 4-year period as we have since our arrival.  I'm excited for this team and future because we absolutely belong with the best.


As a notable aside, Godinez is the president of the South Coast Conference (in which ELAC is a member of). He is frequently involved in conversations with the CCCAA, keeping abreast of the Association's navigation of California community college sports this uncertain and unprecedented time period.