John Poch Named San Jose Sports Authority Executive Director

June 29, 2017

After serving the last eight years as San Jose State University's deputy director of athletics for external operations, John Poch was named the next executive director of the San Jose Sports Authority (SJSA).

For Poch, it will be a return to a civic-based executive position in local community sports, recreation and athletics. The SJSA is a non-profit organization that supports community, youth and amateur sports in San Jose and the South Bay. The SJSA collaborates with all community interests to increase the City of San Jose's visibility, civic pride and economic development.

Prior to returning to San Jose State in 2009, he was the executive director of the After-School All-Stars of Greater San Jose from 2000 through 2008 -- a program that targeted at-risk youths. More than 3,000 youngsters from 50-plus elementary and middle schools benefitted from the program.

"(Men's soccer coach) Julie Menendez (1922-2013) originally recruited me to San Jose State. To be a Spartan, to be a graduate and the opportunity to work with (athletics directors) Tom Bowen, Gene Bleymaier and Marie Tuite was a dream come true," Poch said.

"I had the opportunity to coach here, start a women's soccer program and host the NCAA (Division I Women's Soccer) Championships. I've been very fortunate to be a part of San Jose State and I always will be a part of San Jose State. Also, I want to acknowledge our Spartan Foundation members who have been so special to me and our student-athletes."

Poch is completing his second San Jose State Athletics tenure. He first joined the San Jose State University Athletics staff as an assistant coach for women's soccer in 1995. Poch served as the tournament director for the 1999 and 2000 NCAA Women's College Cups hosted by San Jose State. Under his direction, the 1999 College Cup attracted more than 28,000 spectators for two semifinal matches and the championship. The 14,410 in attendance for the 1999 championship match remains the top attendance figure for a college women's soccer contest.

The 2001 San José State graduate returned to his alma mater in January 2009. His duties included managing the department's external relations components of fund raising and community relations. He worked directly on San Jose State's move into the Mountain West, a conference affiliation change in 2012; served as executive director of the Spartan Foundation, the athletics department fund raising grass roots organization; and on new facility projects for baseball, softball, golf, soccer and tennis at the university's South Campus.

"San Jose State Athletics and San Jose State University thanks John for his dedicated service as a senior-level administrator and coach. John was tireless, energetic and a very strong advocate for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and alumni," said Marie Tuite, director of athletics for San José State University.

"John was a key confidant and colleague for me. I often turned to him when making important decisions. I will miss his passion for improving the experience of our student-athletes. The San Jose Sports Authority is getting a truly outstanding human being."