Garrett Ohara is used to following in Alex Rivera’s footsteps down the career path at Flintridge Prep.
In 2000, Ohara succeeded Rivera as the school’s boys’ basketball coach before building a program that would go on to win 12 Prep League championships and one CIF Southern Section championships in the next 14 seasons. Now, Ohara will take over for Rivera as the school’s athletic director, a position held by Rivera since 1986.
Ohara, a 1984 Flintridge Prep graduate who has served the past couple of years as Rivera’s assistant athletic director, will take over the reins in full on July 1.
“It was an honor to take over for Alex in basketball and will be the same as the athletic director,” said Ohara, 48, who guided Flintridge Prep to a CIF Southern Section Division V-AA championship in 2011. “You just try to build on what he’s done and he’s been a mentor to me for a long time; I’ve known him since I was 9 when he was my youth coach in basketball and baseball.
“When you think of Flintridge Prep athletics, you think of Alex. One of my goals will be to continue to run things smoothly like he did. I’m excited, but it will be a little daunting.”
Before becoming athletic director, Rivera had coached baseball, boys’ volleyball and basketball and served as co-coach with Glenn Beattie when the school had an eight-man football team before it became 11-man in the 1990s.
Rivera, who has been affiliated with Flintridge Prep since 1978, will now be in charge of serving as the school’s director of athletic initiatives. He will oversee the Athletic Council on Leadership, begin a Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena summer camp at Flintridge Prep and cultivate alumni athletic groups.
“This will be something new for me and I’m looking forward to getting started,” said Rivera, who coached basketball from 1978-2000. “It’s good to have some new challenges ahead and it’s perfect timing, just like when I went from being coach to athletic director.
“Garrett will do a great job. He’s been prepping for it for about the last three years. This is something he’s wanted to do and he’ll do it well.”
Ohara said he’ll look to continue the school’s rich athletic tradition, which included the boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams winning CIF Southern Section Division V championships last fall.
“There’s quite a history here,” Ohara said. “We value athletics and we always want to give the student-athletes an opportunity to be successful.”
Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich.