San Diego State announced Thursday that track and field, volleyball and tennis will have only one person in charge of the men's and women's teams in each sport.
That's good news for Jim Cerveny, Carol Plunkett and Rudy Suwara, who were named the directors of track, tennis and volleyball, respectively. They will assume their new duties July 1.
However, it's not good news for Dixon Farmer, the men's track coach since 1982, who apparently will not return next season.
Under a plan devised by Athletic Director Fred Miller, the directors will hire staff personnel in early June--as many as five in track, three in tennis and four in volleyball.
"It's (the new program) patterned after a football staff," said Al Luginbill, SDSU associate athletic director. "In football you have a head coach and a staff under him. Usually, there's somebody in charge of the offense and somebody in charge of the defense.
"In this case, I'm sure you would have somebody in charge of the men's and women's programs in each sport with one person overseeing the delegation of responsibilities."
The staff positions will pay about $18,000 per year, according to Cerveny. Farmer made more than $47,000 last year.
"I gave San Diego State six solid years of hard work and I loved every minute of it," Farmer said Thursday night. "I'm going to miss it a lot. Right now, my plans are in limbo."
Miller, who was out of town Thursday, said in a statement that the positions were created to allow SDSU to use additional staff on a full- and part-time basis while staying within its annual budget.
Cerveny, the women's track and cross-country coach since 1983, had mixed emotions about Thursday's decision.
"Dixon and I knew there was going to be a clash in this instance," Cerveny said. "We have never had to compete against each other for anything. I'm a human type and of course I have feelings about this. I called him (Thursday) and we're going to get together in the near future and discuss a few things. I don't know what he's going to do yet."
According to Luginbill, the directors will be paid more than $50,000 per year. Last year, Cerveny, Plunkett (the women's tennis coach), and Suwara (the women's volleyball coach) each made more than $47,000.
"Having both tennis programs under a single director will help us in a number of ways," said Plunkett, who has coached the women's team for 11 years. "I believe the most important benefit is that we can now reach out to the San Diego tennis community as a single entity."
Skip Redondo, the men's tennis coach for 10 years, said he will meet with Miller next Tuesday to discuss his future. Redondo's team has been self-funded for the past three years and Redondo has had to raise $31,000 per year, part of which has gone for his salary, to keep the program afloat.
"First and foremost, I need to make sure my salary will be paid next year," Redondo said. "I'm not really sure about anything else until I talk with Dr. Miller."
The new program is expected to afford $22,000 to the men's tennis program next year. Last year, the athletic department gave the men's tennis program $9,000 toward its $31,000 budget.
Suwara and Jack Henn, men's volleyball assistant, applied for the volleyball director job. Henn had been a volunteer assistant last year.
Men's volleyball will be funded by the university. The team had to raise $26,000 last year. It also will be able to award five scholarships this year, compared to 2 1/2 in each of the last two seasons.