Spry is thrilled to celebrate the many successful women in the sports industry. We are proud to work with many of these men and women and can’t wait to share their stories and successes with you!
We recently had the opportunity to speak with LaDeane Hansten, Director of Athletics at Santa Barbara City College.
Below is a summary of our conversation:
Please give me a brief history of your life/career.
“I had been a high school coach for a number of years. I spent a total of 19 years coaching and teaching at Sonora High School. I eventually got the itch to transition out of coaching and get into athletic administration. However, in 2003, I decided to get my Masters in order to be more prepared to become an AD. Unfortunately, those opportunities don’t come around too often at small community colleges so it didn’t happen overnight, but eventually, I was offered an AD position at Columbia College in 2019.”
Hansten joined Columbia’s staff in 2014 where she served as a Kinesiology instructor for several years before being named Athletic Director.
“I was obviously thrilled to become an AD, but it was challenging because just a few months after my appointment, Covid hit. I was blessed to be surrounded by a number of other ADs who helped me get acclimated to the role. While it was a task getting adjusted to all of the Covid protocols, being on all the Zoom calls with colleagues actually assisted me in getting to know a lot of my fellow ADs.
In June of 2022, Hansten was appointed Director of Athletics at Santa Barbara City College.
“I had a wonderful experience at Columbia, but I also had a great opportunity to continue my professional journey at SDCC. Now that things have started to settle down a bit from Covid, I couldn’t be happier. Professionally, I’m exactly where I want to be. I can’t imagine a better situation than to be living in Santa Barbara and being the AD for a program that focuses on kindness and developing students.”
What advice would you offer to aspiring young professionals?
“Get involved with your state and national professional organizations. This is critical in order to be able to network outside your area. Organizations like NACDA and CCCAA are really important to your professional growth.”
Who have been your role models/mentors professionally? Personally?
“As I mentioned, my fellow ADs have been a great source of support to me. Andrea Picchi, the athletic director at West Hills College, was one of those people who was always willing to pick up the phone and offer advice whenever I needed it. Likewise, Steve Cassady, AD at Merced College, has been a tremendous mentor for me professionally. Both of these individuals have been a source of inspiration for me personally and professionally.”
Finish this sentence. The best part of my job is……
The relationships. I love getting to know people. Especially when I first came to SBCC, everyone was new to me so I really enjoyed building relationships with people here. Being in the community college setting, most administrators were also teachers so they are always willing to coach you up. Also, just seeing our students have success. Last year we had seven teams earn Academic Scholar Team honors. I love seeing students perform well and then decide what they want to do next. That’s the best part of teaching!
What Does Women’s History Month Mean to You?
“As an athlete, I never had to think about my opportunity to participate in sports. For that, I’m thankful for all of those women who opened the doors for my generation. So Women’s History Month is about being appreciative of the fact that I get to live in the world they worked to create. I also realize that female ADs are still somewhat rare, so it’s also about lifting other women and trying to get more women into certain spaces where we haven’t been historically. We’re still dealing with the after-effects of women not having been in the room for several generations, so Women’s History Month is about honoring the reality of that and working to create a better future.”
LaDeane Hansten is a leader and educator who has spent the past two decades working to create a world that future generations can enjoy. She believes in paying it forward and has demonstrated this through her commitment and groundbreaking presence. For these reasons, Spry is proud to honor her as part of our Women’s History Month celebration.
Website/Handles to Tag