photo courtesy of Reggie Bolton
With COVID-19 still running rampant around the country, something had to be done with sports in the Fall 2020 semester. Colleges around the whole country are shutting down their sports programs for the semester, but Reggie Bolton, Bakersfield College’s new Athletic Director, has a plan.
After Sandi Taylor retired from her position as Athletic Director at Bakersfield College on May 26, it did not take long for Bolton to be named as her replacement. Bolton worked as the Associate Athletic Director for 18 months back in 2014-15 and as the Department Chair of kinesiology, health, and physical education for 6 years prior to taking the Athletic Director job back in July. Bolton was also the defensive coordinator of the Bakersfield College football team for 13 years, starting in 2007, before he stepped away at the end of the 2018 season, and before that, he was head football coach at Santa Barbara City College for five years.
“Being a former football coach, I saw this position as a great opportunity to combine my passion for health & wellness and athletics to help develop student-athletes as a whole,” Bolton said.
He also wants “to create a championship environment which provides a first-class student-athlete experience; cultivate students who complete their academic and athletic goals in order to transfer to four-year institutions; and serve as a source of pride for the college and community.”
With the Fall 2020 semester being his first semester in the position, Bolton is in a unique situation compared to previous years: he has no “real” sports to work with just yet. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, college sports around the entire country have been shut down, with many schools canceling their seasons. Bolton has a plan, however, to keep Bakersfield College’s athletes in shape for when sports do eventually make their return.
“Student-athletes are currently enrolled in Intercollegiate Sports Skills and Conditioning courses for the semester. We have a tentative plan to return to campus on September 14 in small groups to begin conditioning for the spring competition season,” Bolton said.
When asked about the courses for student-athletes, Bakersfield College’s Football player Keenan Sullivan said, “It’s a new but welcome experience for me. What we do for class is meet on Zoom and talk about workouts we can do independently and our coaches’ kind of guide us on a path to stay active and fit while not being together in person.”
While Sullivan is welcoming to the idea of these new courses, he misses the field more than ever. “I’ve been playing football for 9 years and I can’t explain how much I miss being out on the field. It’s just a feeling of love for the game and the love for your teammates too, who just become like brothers throughout the course of the time you play with them,” he said.