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Meet the man who becomes CCS commissioner on Wednesday Meet the man who becomes CCS commissioner on Wednesday
Imagine landing an ideal job and being given nearly five months to prepare for the first day. A perfect scenario. That is until coronavirus... Meet the man who becomes CCS commissioner on Wednesday

Imagine landing an ideal job and being given nearly five months to prepare for the first day.

A perfect scenario.

That is until coronavirus arrived and everyone’s way of life turned upside down.

Welcome to David Grissom’s world.

The Mountain View High School principal was announced on Feb. 11 as the next Central Coast Section commissioner, replacing the retiring Duane Morgan.

A month after the announcement, high school sports shut down and have not returned since then, except for conditioning workouts this month under strict county and school district guidelines.

The California Interscholastic Federation says that it will decide by July 20 whether the fall sports calendar can be played as scheduled.

By then, Grissom, 53, will be a seasoned commissioner. He officially moves into Morgan’s seat on Wednesday. Morgan held the job for five years after taking over from longtime commissioner Nancy Lazenby Blaser.

“I couldn’t be more excited about it,” Grissom said about overseeing a section that stretches from King City to San Francisco.

Grissom grew up in San Diego, graduated from University-San Diego High and San Diego State and has lived in the Bay Area for more than a quarter-century.

In addition to being the principal at Santa Clara and Mountain View high schools, he also has been the CCS vice president and most recently its president.

As he began his final week on the Mountain View campus, Grissom took a few minutes with this news organization to discuss his new job in the CCS office.

Here is what he said:

What are the biggest challenges as you prepare to start?

The biggest question mark that is out there is when will our kids be able to participate in athletics again? That’s the biggest stumbling block. It’s right in our face. That’s what we’re dealing with on a regular basis. We haven’t gone down the road yet of, ‘If certain sports can’t start, can others start?’ We’re still working on many of those contingency plans. The CIF is going to make an announcement on the 20th. We’re kind of in a wait-and-see pattern until the 20th hits. I haven’t announced this yet, but we’re going to set up an executive committee meeting with CCS the following week just so we’re all on the same page. We’re supposed to open up practices on Aug. 7 and that sounds like a wonderful idea but … I just don’t know if I see Aug. 7 being a date where all sports are open and participating at this time.

In your various roles with the CCS as a principal and the section’s vice president and president, what did you learn from watching predecessors Lazenby Blaser and Morgan?

I’ve worked more with Duane than I did with Nancy only because of the role that I have been in. Duane listens to others, brings others together to make a decision that is best for all. That’s quite a bit of the things that I do as a principal. I don’t always have the best ideas. Often others do. And there is a time for us to listen to each other and make best decisions for kids. And then there are times when I see Duane or more Nancy kind of also have a firm hand. ‘This is the direction that we’re going in.’ Make a decision and you follow through with the decision that is made. As a principal, I have been able to do that many times. I think Nancy and Duane have done an absolutely fabulous job with what they have done. Duane will tell you that, fiscally, he is very conservative, and in times like this it has been a very good thing.

As we sit here in late June, what’s it going to take for fall sports to happen?

There is going to need to be some relaxation from the county boards and county health. The (county) supervisors will have to open things up and then our superintendents will have to allow that to happen in their local area. I will say a potential challenge for moving forward is that CCS lies in six different counties. That’s a challenge. So what happens if, for instance, down in Monterey they open up and their county board of supervisors and whatever allows them to participate in football? What’s the reaction from the rest of the CCS when that happens? So those are the decisions that we need to really examine. I don’t foresee that happening, although it could happen. So we need to prepare for it.

What is your sports background?

High School athlete, semi-OK (laughs). Then I coached football and baseball, both in the San Diego Section and Southern Section and CCS. I coached at Crawford High School in San Diego, then I coached at Colton High School, which is in Colton, on the 10 Freeway where San Bernardino and Riverside meet. Then I moved up to the Bay Area and started working in 1994 at Santa Clara High and coached with (current Cupertino football coach) Chris Oswald and became the athletic director at Santa Clara High School, then got into administration.

Why did you want the CCS commissioner job?

I have always had maybe even a little bit of an unhealthy love for sports. I love watching kids compete. I love watching my own kids compete. If I can give back to the community, I just thought that was a great way to finish my career.

Morgan has been the CCS commissioner for five years. Lazenby Blaser held the job for 26 years. How long do you see yourself in the position?

Somewhere between five and 26 (more laughs). My commitment is I would like to finish my career as the CCS commissioner and I am not looking to retire anytime soon. My wife and I have lofty dreams when we retire, but I need to work. I am really looking forward to the job. Other than the fact that we’re in COVID, which just sucks, I am so excited for the opportunity. It is something that I’ve thought about for a couple of years, and I am just tickled pink to fall where I have fallen.