Newly-appointed Summit athletic director Steve Hickey has decided that he will not resume his duties as boys basketball coach, as the school has opened up the position within the Fontana Unified School District.
The 41-year old Hickey, the all-Sun boys basketball Coach of the Year, was named Summit’s athletic director June 29 replacing Ed Kearby, who was promoted to assistant principal at the school. After nearly a month on the job, Hickey wasn’t comfortable with the task of balancing his old position with his new job.
“You have to be 100 percent sure, and I wasn’t,” Hickey said. “I didn’t want it to be a situation where I didn’t take care of my duties with the other sports on campus because I was focusing on the basketball team. I didn’t want to be put in that position, so I will not participate in the day-to-day duties (of the boys basketball team).”
Hickey’s decision comes after a dream season for the SkyHawks, who went 28-8 and advanced to the CIF-State Division II championship game in Sacramento before narrowly losing to San Jose Archbishop Mitty. He was open to trying for a repeat of that achievement before he started fulfilling the day-to-day duties as athletic director.
“Going through these last couple weeks, trying to get fall sports set up for the upcoming season, pretty much made the decision for me,” Hickey said. “I have to make myself available for all sports at all times and I wasn’t sure I could do that and keep coaching. Right now I have to make sure that I can do everything I’m supposing to be doing (as the A.D.)”
Hickey didn’t completely rule out the possibility of assisting with the basketball program though, saying that he’d be open to that depending on who the new coach is and if they desire his help. The position was posted within the district Wednesday and will be open for five days before possibly flying outside the district if an in-district candidate has not been hired.
“We’ll see what happens,” Hickey said. “If the new coach wants some help and I can do it, I’ll help. It just depends on who we hire and how everything goes from there. Our district is going through tough times, as are most districts, so it’s hard to say what will happen.”
Hickey has debriefed the returning Summit boys basketball players on his decision and is confident they’ll continue to succeed.
“I told them and they understood that I was doing something I had to do,” Hickey said. “I told them that I’d be there for them if they needed my help for anything.”