Palomar College’s new director, Daniel Lynds, started his job at the Athletic Department on March 10, 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic has not made his job easy.
Lynds’ career began by playing football from 1990 to 1991 at Palomar College and being captain for the football team during the first Football National Championship in 1991.
In a Zoom interview, Lynds described his position at Palomar College as “fantastic,” despite all of the challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Of all the jobs, and all the institutions, this would be the one for me,” he said.
The pandemic took him from worrying about things such as game management, arranging officials and buses. Above that, Lynds had to make sure all students were eligible and hope that the programs and plans within the Athletics Department survive.
He mentioned how he plans to overcome the pandemic and the challenges presented. Lynds described the jobs in the Athletic Department to be a “very hands on people job.”
When asked what were some positives of the job, Lynds’ response was that the people he works with are amazing and hopes to see or meet them soon.
Some challenges of being an Athletic Director would be budgeting. Lynds said these include looking up to division schools and wishing it could be Palomar College, wishing Palomar sports programs can travel by bus instead of by van, and providing meals for athletes after games.
“The wish list is really large, but the resources are small,” he added.
Lynds explained that the number one main goal the Athletic Department has is to get their financial status back in order. The staff has worked hard but there is still lots of work that needs to be done.
At the beginning of the pandemic, all sports were forced to get cancelled.
Lynds mentioned that as an Athletic Director it was hard to see student athletes that were graduating, miss out on opportunities, such as sports scholarships, that were there for them.
When asked if he believed cancelling sports was the best decision, he said, “It was the only decision, but the right thing to do. We’re talking about risking health, risking life. No matter how badly we want these student athletes to be competing, and when one of the things on the table is death, you don’t do it.”
Lynds, as well as the whole staff from the Athletic Department, are hoping to get more outdoor sports back to the field as soon as April 12.
If everything goes well, the Athletic Department will be in charge of athletes getting tested on April 9 at a Public Test Realm.
Getting tested at the Public Test Realm will confirm that they are COVID-19 free so they can bring them back to play.
“This was a difficult year, but I want to just express my immense respect and gratitude for the fortitude and perseverance of our student athletes,” Lynds said.