FRESNO - On her final official day as commissioner of the Central Valley Conference, Susan Yates was honored by the California Community College Athletic Directors Association (CCCADA) at its annual convention in Lake Tahoe on Wednesday.
Yates capped off a 40+ year career in athletics with the CVC, holding her position for five years after serving as athletic director at Fresno City College and Clovis Community College.
From the CCCADA Convention program:
Susan Yates devoted nearly 40 years to coaching and athletic administration at the State Center Community College District, first at Fresno City College and later at upstart Clovis Community College.
She concluded her career by serving as the Central Valley Conference's commissioner from 2017-21.
Yates started At FCC in 1984 when she was hired as women's volleyball coach, a program she led for 10 seasons. She also coaches women's golf for the Rams before moving into administration in 1999, when she was named co-athletics director with Ron Scott.
In 2002, Yates took over as Fresno City's sole athletics director. Under her leadership, the Rams captured 20 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) championships, 139 conference titles, and added two sports ̶ badminton and women's water polo ̶ to the college's athletics program between 1999-2013 when she temporarily retired, though she never really stopped working.
Always wanting to make a difference in the lives of student-athletes, Yates continued to serve Fresno City as a volunteer until the fall of 2015, when she set out to launch Clovis' athletics department. Yates guided the Crush as they introduced their first sports ̶ men's and women's swimming and diving ̶ in the spring of 2016 and would go on to add men's and women's soccer, cross country, and track and field before her second retirement in 2020.
A crowning achievement of Yates' career came in 2011-12 when she became the first recipient of the Junior/Community College Learfield Sports Directors' Cup, which recognizes the athletic supremacy. Fresno City saw 15 of its 19 teams reach the postseason, 11 win conference titles, and the men's basketball, men's tennis, and wrestling teams captured state championships.
Yates was honored as the Central Valley Esby Athletic Administrator of the Year in 2006-07 and was given the State Center Community College District's Dr. Bill Stewart Achievement of Excellence Award in 2007.
Yates' dedication to athletics administration stretched well beyond Fresno City and Clovis as she served state-wide roles as president of the CCCAA sports associations for women's volleyball, women's golf, and athletics directors. She's also served two terms each as a CCCAA Management Council representative for women's golf and athletic directors.
After earning a bachelor's degree from California State University, Fresno and a master's from the University of San Francisco, Yates began her career coaching softball, volleyball, and the flag team (which she had no prior knowledge of) from 1976-79.
With an eye on eventually reaching the community college level, Yates moved on to Clovis West High School, where she coached girl's volleyball and started the boy's volleyball team between 1979-84.
In retirement, for real this time, Yates plans to travel, play golf, and do anything life sends her way.
(Chris Ruiz, Central Valley Conference)