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Santa Maria High School has a new athletic director who plans to take competition to a new level of success.

Brian Wallace takes over for Joe Graack, who has become the new AD at Ernest Righetti High School. Graack replaces AD Eric Albright. Wallace will be in charge of more than 700 athletes and 80 coaches.

"Athletics here has always had a good reputation and history,'' Wallace said. "We have the talent, pride and potential and my expectation is that we will just get better and better.''

Wallace has been a coach and assistant coach in a variety of sports at Santa Ynez and Cabrillo high schools for more than 20 years. He previously served Santa Ynez High School where he managed about 300 athletes and about 15 coaches and guided boys and girls in track and cross country, coached wrestling and even football several years ago. At Cabrillo High School Wallace coached Track, Wrestling and Football for eight years.

Wallace knows students gain invaluable life skills by participating in athletics.

"They must learn to get along with people because there are very few sports that involve one person and not a whole team,'' Wallace said. "You can't do well if your team does not do well. It teaches students to never give up. If you stop, you lose and that's the same as in life.''

Wallace believes there is a "direct correlation" between success in athletics and success in academics.

"Academics are key and will remain a top priority in this program,'' said Wallace, who wrestled at the University of Wyoming. "By the time these student athletes graduate, only one percent will play varsity sports in college. But, every student can go to college and be successful academically.''

Wallace was a special education teacher at SYHS, but has also been an alternative classroom teacher, summer school and substitute teacher in Lompoc and Buellton since 2006.

When the Lompoc resident is not working, he's spending time his wife Hannah and daughter Riley. The Cabrillo High School graduate also stays competitive and has won several area triathlons and has competed in the Boston Marathon twice.

"I still compete and enjoy the interaction and comradery,'' Wallace said. "Sports is like dessert for me while the meat and potatoes are being with my family and education.''

Wallace has a master’s degree in education, two teaching credentials and a bachelor degree from Chapman University. He also holds a general education certificate from Hancock College.

Principal Joe Domingues said his new AD is more than ready for the challenge.

"Brian has established himself as a well respected and successful local coach, with a commitment to excellence,'' Domingues said. "He is a visionary leader primed to move SMHS Athletics to the next level."


NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or kplatt@smjuhsd.org. You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.