NK golf coach becomes its new athletic director

Anh Tran is the newest athletic director in Kitsap County, taking over Matt Stanford’s role at North Kitsap High School.

Stanford decided to step down to focus on family and teaching at Poulsbo Middle School.

“I did know that [Matt] was thinking about it but wasn’t certain,” Tran said. “Sports has always been a passion and building programs has always been something I enjoyed doing.”

Tran has experience in athletics and teaching throughout schools in the county. He was an athletic director at Poulsbo Middle and coached soccer at Bainbridge High and golf at Kingston and North Kitsap high schools. Since Tran is taking on the new role, he was forced to step down as Viking girls golf coach.

“It was tough because those girls mattered to me,” Tran said. “I have been with them for three years but this is an opportunity that came quickly, and I had to make a decision. I’m still serving them but just as an athletic director.”

Despite NK having a lot of success in sports, Tran does not feel there is pressure on him for them to keep winning. He believes his experience will help him. “Since I’m more seasoned, I really like to build the spirit of the school around sports more because sports is a special place for everybody,” Tran said. “It brings the community together and uplifts the kids.”

In addition, Tran will have Stanford to help the first year. “It was one of the reasons why I wanted to take on the job” since Stanford wasn’t leaving the state, Tran said. “I have sat down with him and talked about how to manage the games.”

Tran’s first steps as the athletic director involve “trying to get the fall sports running, working on the moneyless payment system, GoFan and to fill some big shoes.”

Once Tran gets his feet wet, he hopes to build the school spirit to a higher level. “We can give the kids more shoutouts and make them feel proud for the accomplishments they have done,” Tran said. “I plan on playing music, having quick rallies, shouting out big games and cheering the kids.”

Besides boosting school spirit, Tran is looking forward to watching his students thrive on the fields and courts. “I can see them shine outside the classroom, see where teamwork is built, and foster all those characteristics that are built for life,” Tran said.

Tran’s contract is for one year, but he hopes to be athletic director for some time. “I hope that I do a good enough job that next year they say this is the guy,” Tran said. “I want to do my job as well as I can, give my time to the school and give back to these kids.”