MONTEREY PARK - East Los Angeles College 18-year Director of Athletics Al Cone has announced he will be leaving his job effective June 30. He will remain a full-time instructor in the department of Kinesiology.
Cone leaves a legacy of an improved program that has raised the quality of ELAC Athletics.
“He advocated for student-athletes and demonstrated a determined drive in directing coaches to strive to attain high transfer rates to 4-year universities,” said ELAC Baseball Coach James Hines.
The women’s badminton and men’s basketball teams have had years of 100 percent transfer rates under coaches Qui Nguy and John Mosley, respectively. Cone hired them as well as football coach Bobby Godinez, who recently guided more than 50 players who transferred to all levels of college football including a few NCAA Division I schools.
Cone’s talent for hiring quality coaches resulted in two Olympians, 91 All-Americans, including 31 in track & field, 17 in wrestling, 14 in women’s swimming, 11 in baseball, which also found former Huskies playing professional sports such as the NFL.
“When I came in as the athletic director, I made sure the coaches didn’t just collect paychecks, but did everything we could as a department to give students, who trusted us to teach/mentor them, the greatest two-year experience,” said Cone. “And I think we did that.”
Cone brought an increased involvement with community outreach with dozens of life learning experiences for student-athletes including ELAC teams visiting children in hospitals, working with youth organizations, taking part in Cancer Walks, one with the American Cancer Society and the City of Monterey Park that raised $27,000, and Toys for Tots, which included Cone as Santa Claus giving children toys at the ELAC Children’s Center.
“He advocated community involvement which included involving coaches with sports camps at no cost to the community,” said Hines.
“Of all the things that we’ve done here athletically and academically, I’m most proud of our participation in violence intervention and domestic violence seminars that we mandated the student-athletes to attend,” said Cone. “When it came to student-athletes, we led with learning about domestic violence and sexual assault and how to deal with it. The seminars featured guest speakers from the community (at large).”
Cone attended ELAC games of all sports as a passionate sports fan, whether at home or on the road, from his first year through this final season as athletic director. “I was fortunate to do this and see athletics in its purest form,” said Cone. “If I had any influence at any point on any of the student-athletes, coaches and staff, then that’s a by-product of just enjoying what I did.”
“I was proud to have been able to represent this school for 18 years throughout the state of California. I was never shy about saying that I was the athletic director of East Los Angeles College,” said Cone. “Besides it being an honor for me to being the athletic director, I really believe we’ve done a lot to shine a positive light on this college experience.”
Follow ELAC Athletics at http://athletics.elac.edu/landing/index or on Facebook at ELAC Huskies Athletics (@elachuskiesathletics).
(Tadzio Garcia, East Los Angeles College Sports Information Desk)