Oakland, CA — Oakland Unified School District is proud to announce that the Oakland Athletic League (OAL) now has a new commissioner at the helm. Francisco “Franky” Navarro has taken over the role, and will keep all athletics and the associated competitions running smoothly. “It’s a dream job for me,” said Navarro. The position opened when former commissioner, Sonjha Phillips, left OUSD to become Assistant Commissioner with the North Coast Section (NCS).
New OAL Commissioner, Francisco “Franky” Navarro.
Navarro comes to the OAL from Castlemont High School where his roots run deep. “I’ve been involved with the OAL for the past 25 years, since being a student athlete, coach, and athletic director.” He added the new position was a perfect fit for him and his experience. “I thought it was a great opportunity for me to move in, especially with my knowledge and expertise of the OAL, and just my commitment to students. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do: oversee OAL sports.”
25 years is not an exaggeration. Navarro attended Cox Elementary School, Elmhurst Middle School and Castlemont High School. “Really the only time I’ve ever been away from the OAL is my four years at the University of Miami. As soon as I returned, I immediately jumped into coaching baseball. I just finished my 12th year of coaching baseball at Castlemont, so I’m a little sad about leaving that piece.”
In the commissioner role, Navarro will be overseeing all sports at schools across OUSD, including football, volleyball, track and field, wrestling, tennis and golf. He’ll be working on budgets, arranging transportation, fundraising through community partnerships, and interfacing with students, athletic directors, principals and the community. He will also work with the North Coast Section, having Sonjha Phillips there to help, and the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). The good news there is Navarro’s former principal at Castlemont, William Chavarin, is now a Director at the CIF. So, he starts with a good working relationship with both the NCS and the CIF. “Being able to kind of bring folks together, that’s what I see a lot of my heavy lifting, my work, to be, and supporting our student athletes so that they have positive outcomes on the field and in the classroom. I’m excited, my energy is high and my sleeves are rolled up.”
OUSD Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell is pleased that Navarro has taken over at the OAL. “Coach Navarro has a long track record of excellence in Oakland, supporting students, promoting dedication, teamwork and success through athletics, and uniting the community,” she said. “Sonjha Phillips did wonderful work in the OAL, for which we are grateful. I know that Coach Navarro has picked up where she left off and will lead the league where it can best serve students from across the city in all the sports they play. Please join me in welcoming Coach Navarro to the OAL.”