May 11, 2021 – After 25 years of service to Santa Fe College, Jim Keites is retiring as SF’s Athletic Director. Under his leadership, the college expanded intercollegiate and intermural sports opportunities for students, worked to increase scholarships for student-athletes and helped create successful athletic teams that have frequently been in competition for state and national championships. Although his official retirement date is July 30, his last day on campus will be Friday, May 28.
Jim was instrumental in establishing the SF volleyball team at the college, making the case that with the number of quality high school volleyball teams in SF’s service district, they would become a competitive team quickly. The team has since won several conference championships, and finished No. 4 in the nation in 2016.
“Jim’s departure marks the end of an era for the Athletics Department at Santa Fe College,” SF’s Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Naima Brown said. “The college is indebted to him for his vision and commitment in investing in our athletic programs, improving our facilities and propelling our intercollegiate teams into regional, state and national positions over the years. I am going to dearly miss Jim’s presence, advocacy and sense of humor.”
As the Athletics programs encountered more success, Keites saw the need to establish the SF’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012. In addition to recognizing the work of players and teams during his time as Athletic Director, Keites wanted to make sure each new group of student-athletes knew that they were building on the legacy of those who played before. To date, 56 players, coaches, administrators and officials have been enshrined in SF’s Athletics Hall of Fame, as have 10 teams.
“The championships and the honors belong to the coaches and the kids,” Keites said. “They are the ones that work so hard to get them. But administration and support staff can take pride in the fact that our programs are consistently competing at a high level. It shows we must be doing something right.”
He worked toward getting renovations at most of SF’s Athletics facilities, including bleachers, dugouts and press boxes for both the softball and baseball teams. He also led the charge on renovating the SF Fitness Center, available to students, faculty and staff at the college. “It has been an honor and a pleasure to work alongside these coaches and support staff in service to this great college and great community,” Keites added.
Jim’s successor as Athletic Director is Greg McVey, who will arrive at the college Monday, May 17. The two will spend the next couple of weeks working together to ensure a smooth and seamless transition as possible to benefit SF’s student-athletes.
The entire college community is invited to celebrate Jim at his retirement party, which will be held Wednesday, May 26, at 1 p.m. via Zoom. Please contact Stacey Ledvina at firstname.lastname@example.org for access to the Zoom link.