New St. Vincent athletic director Dominic Romero didn’t exactly jump out of the frying pan into the fire — he didn’t have time to be in the frying pan before jumping into the fire. The fall sports season was just over a week away when Romero was named AD at St. Vincent de Paul High School. There was hardly time for introductions as he began working 12-hour days, making sure athletes were eligible, patching up holes in schedules, putting in last-minute equipment orders, stamping out last-minute fires and answering 101 questions from coaches, players and parents.
“Thank goodness things are settling down,” he said last week. “I think all the teams now have everything they asked for and need.”
Romero replaces Stan Switala, who moved up after one year as AD to become assistant principal for student activities. The person chosen to be Switala’s replacement took another job just before the school year began.
Romero said having Switala on campus and available has been a huge help in getting him through the first hectic weeks.
Switala has been impressed with the new AD.
“He’s a good person,” said Switala. “He’s a quick thinker. He’s organized. He works hard. He is perfect for the job. Everyhing we have thrown at him he has picked up right away.”
Romero has a close personal relationship with Switala. He played summer baseball for the coach on the Top Speed collegiate baseball team, and later helped coach Top speed.
The new athletic director played baseball at Rodriguez High School in Fairfield and Cal Poly before receiving his degree in kinesiology in Kansas.
For the last three years, he has been teaching at a middle school in Napa and coaching at Napa High School.
In addition to serving as athletic director, he will be strength and conditioning coach for all sports at St. Vincent.
Romero said one of the first things he wants to do now that the initial rush is over is to get acclimated with all the St. Vincent teams.
“You will see me at all the home games,” he said. “I want to see what all the different teams are like.”
He said almost all coaches are now in place. Another coaching position was filled last week when Kevin Richardson, who took the St. Vincent girls soccer team to the North Coast Section championship last year, agreed to become the boys soccer coach after resigning from the girls job at the end of last year.
Romero’s goal is to have varsity and junior varsity teams in all sports. “We don’t have all our JV teams, but we’re getting there,” he said.
When he has time, he tries to stay busy with his favorite activities — snowboarding in the winter, and wakeboarding when he has the opportunity.