By Stephanie Guevara
After 18 years as the East Los Angeles College athletic director, Allen Cone resigned to become a full-time instructor.
He decided to step down from his position because he lost the passion and enthusiasm the job requires, he said.
“I never took myself that serious, but (I) sure (as) hell took what I did very serious… This is a great institution. I don’t care what is happening with the administration today with the budget deficit and the other controversy created,” said Cone in an email.
Coaches and athletic department members said that football head coach Bobby Godinez will likely become the new athletic director.
Godinez said Cone’s decision wasn’t surprising because of his long history at ELAC.
“Whenever you do something for 18 years, it’s never a surprise. When someone decides (to resign), they want some time off,” Godinez said.
Cone accepted the athletic director position in 2000 alongside Marilyn Ladd when there were separate men’s and women’s athletic directors.
Cone said he wants to return as an instructor to teach and mentor students at ELAC.
Cone started his ELAC career in 1989 as the head baseball coach. During his second year as baseball coach, he coached James Hines, the current baseball head coach. Hines played at ELAC under Cone from 1991 to 1992. Hines then was one of Cone’s assistants before becoming his only one.
“It was my opinion that the athletic director respected [Hines] enough to only interview James and he gave him the job. After that, they (the baseball team) were pretty bad. In his second year, he took the team to the state championship game,” Cone said.
At the time, Jerry Heaps was the athletic director.
Athletic department members had different reactions about Cone’s resignation.
Hines said Cone’s decision was a surprise because the sports teams have performed well.
“You want to think that the guy that’s been there guiding the athletic department is going to be here for longer, but the reality is that situations change. Sometimes individuals have different thoughts on what they want to do with their lives,” Hines said.
Cone became the only athletic director under President Ernie Moreno.
“I will forever be indebted to former ELAC President Ernie Moreno, who completely entrusted me with the responsibility of hiring and dismissing coaches and staff and making this Athletic Department the best in the LACCD and one of the most respected in the state,” Cone said.