Bobby Smitheran was officially welcomed as the new Executive Director of Athletics on Aug. 11. Many CSULB officials attended the press conference, such as CSULB President Jane Close Conoley and Vice President of Administration and Finance Scott Apel. Former interim executive director of athletics Ted Kadowaki was also in attendance, extending Smitheran a warm welcome to The Beach.
Scott Apel gave the opening statement expressing his excitement to have Smitheran and his family here at The Beach.
“It’s just a wonderful time for me to be able to welcome Bobby back to Long Beach and to his roots and his family,” Apel said. “And we’re just very excited to have him here at Long Beach State.”
CSULB President, Jane Close Conoley spoke at the event and expressed her gratitude to Ted Kadowaki, the former interim executive director of athletics, for his work last year and assisting Smitheran as his successor.
“I do want to thank Ted and Ted’s family for stepping in,” Conoley said. “Ted is a veteran staff member from The Beach and he came back and got a number of things accomplished.”
She also expressed her excitement for Smitheran and looks forward to what he can do in the next coming years to push the athletics program to continue the storied legacy of Long Beach State sports.
“Bobby brings the experience knowledge and skills necessary to lead a program with a sustained history of national prominence and to help our student-athletes fulfill their enormous potential. Both on and off their various skills of play,” Conoley said. “He’s the right person to leverage a decade-long tradition of athletic achievement, so Long Beach State can continue to soar but soar to new heights.”
Smitheran closed out the event with an opening statement, afterwards he answered questions from the media.
He gave thanks to his friends, family, colleagues and the greater Long Beach community for their support while also expressing excitement for the opportunity to take the Beach athletics department to new heights.
“I am humbled by the leadership opportunity that you have entrusted me with and the outpouring of support that I’ve received from friends, colleagues and the Long Beach community,” Smitheran said. “I have the best job in the country. That’s because of this institution, this community and the achievements of those who came before me and because my feet are firmly planted in Long Beach. Go Beach!”
Smitheran approaches running the athletics department with four core values: Integrity, vision, collaboration and hope. He believes that these four principles will drive the program forward for the foreseeable future.
When asked about the Walter Pyramid, which had leaking issues during the rainy season last year, Smitheran stated that every possibility should be considered but it will be some time before a definitive plan will be set.
“We will always make strategic improvements in our facilities,” Smitheran said. “So, I’m going to need a minute to get in here and have an opportunity to look at those studies and look at those repairs that need to be made in a strategic manner that we can accomplish.”
The end goal for Executive Director in regards to the Pyramid is to make a facility that the student-athletes and overall student population can be proud of.
Smitheran wants to establish a culture of pride and class and thinks the Pyramid should be a reflection of that.