Paula Spence was already plenty busy.
As a vice principal at Manhattan Beach Mira Costa High, Spence was in charge of state-mandated testing; facilities; safety and security; supervision of employees and curriculum in the physical education and science departments; summer school; substitute teachers; technology; and ninth-grade discipline and special education.
Now she will oversee the school's athletic programs as well.
Because of cost cutting in the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, Athletic Director Bob Fish has been reassigned to teach full time, leaving Spence to coordinate Mira Costa's 64 teams and 1,200 athletes.
Her biggest fear about the increased workload?
"That there's only 24 hours in a day," Spence said.
Said Fish: "She's going to have to learn on the fly."
Mira Costa isn't alone. Other schools are slashing coaching stipends, reducing schedules, curtailing travel, eliminating lower-level playoffs and increasing student fees because of budget cuts.
The Capistrano Unified School District is trimming about $420,000 by eliminating 37 coaching stipends in 15 sports at each of its six schools. Coaches, athletes and parents are attempting to make up the difference through fundraising efforts such as golf tournaments and ad sales in athletic programs.
"It's anything and everything," Aliso Niguel Athletic Director Mike Middlebrook said. "Sometimes in the past parents just wrote a check, but now families are struggling as well."
Similar fundraising is underway among the schools in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, where the elimination of coaching stipends is expected to save about $80,000.
Rancho Santa Margarita Tesoro Principal Dan Burch, whose school operates within the Capistrano district, said schools are restricting travel to save on transportation costs.
"Some teams that were looking at longer travel, we're asking them to reconsider and look within the county or within the state for some of their tournaments," Burch said.
In the Garden Grove Unified School District, boys' and girls' athletes in basketball, volleyball, tennis, water polo and soccer will each play two fewer games to save the district $46,000 in transportation and officiating costs, district spokesman Alan Trudell said.
But at least those teams will have a chance to compete in the postseason.
That's not the case for lower-level teams in the Los Angeles City Section, where playoffs are being eliminated starting next school year. The City Section is also moving its freshman-sophomore basketball schedules to the winter to consolidate travel costs.
The measures are expected to save $197,500, section Commissioner Barbara Fiege said.
Bellflower St. John Bosco will add a sport -- boys' lacrosse -- but the school is offsetting rising transportation costs by charging each student $100 to cover all field-trip costs. Previously, athletes paid $50 per sport while other students were assessed separately.
The school will also ask coaches to work with multiple teams.
"A varsity football coach might also work at the JV level as well," St. John Bosco Principal Patrick Lee said. "We're trying to consolidate and not have as many coaching slots as we've had as in the past."
At Mira Costa, the reassignment of athletic director duties is only one of sweeping changes approved by the district's board of trustees, who voted to eliminate all of the school's coaching stipends and its athletic trainer beginning next school year.
To pay for the $180,000 in coaching stipends and more than $60,000 for a trainer, plus other costs, the school's booster clubs have joined forces with the Manhattan Beach Athletic Foundation to ask parents for a donation of $325 per athlete for the first sport he or she participates in and $200 for each additional sport.
Mira Costa was not the first high school in the Southland to ask a vice principal to also serve as athletic director.
Glenn Martinez pulled the double duty starting last fall at Covina Charter Oak after former Athletic Director Joey Strycula replaced a retiring vice principal in a cost-cutting move.
"It's made for some long days and some last-second running around because something didn't get done right or there was an oversight or a late bus," said Martinez, who also oversees attendance, discipline and special education.
"You need to be very, very organized."