Anthony Belew is an educator and athletic director at Turlock High School.
Q. What is your favorite personal sports memory?
A. I have two that really stick out in my mind. The first was in 1983, placing 6th in the nation at Junior Nationals in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Most recently, team roping with my father in 2008 placing 8th in the American Cowboys Team Roping Association National Finals in Reno.
Q. What is it like to run a program that you used to be a part of?
A. I feel honored. It seems hard to believe that I’m only the fifth athletic director at Turlock High School. Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog.
Q. Who has been a major influence on you professionally?
A. All of my coaches starting with Jim Hollister at Wakefield Junior High, Leroy Evans, Dean Sensenbaugh, and I even learned a few things from Rod Hollars. I owe a lot to Frank Cusenza. I was lucky enough to coach with him for eight years. He taught me the finer points on how to talk to athletes and parents.
Q. What do you look forward to the most each day as you go to work?
A. The students! I love what I do, so I don’t consider it work. In fact, the last time I had a job it was driving a fork lift in and out of a freezer at Americold.
Q. What change would you like to see happen in Turlock in the next five years?
A. I would like to see the teachers who coach be appreciated. Good teachers make great coaches, and great coaches make awesome teachers. The number of teachers who coach are getting smaller every year, which makes the athletic director’s job just that much tougher.
Q. What do you think Turlock should be most proud of?
A. The history: in my office I have a lot of old pictures, for example, the first football team in 1920, other football pictures from 1923, and one from the 1930s with the girls’ gym under construction in the background. I also have a picture of the first wrestling team from 1953, which is really cool because of who is in it. There are two wrestlers in the picture in which I coached their grandsons, and one I wrestled with his son (Don Hill, Albert Avalos, and Lawrence Kelso).
Q. What do you like to do for fun?
Q. What was the last thing you read?
A. "My Brother John," by Herbert Purdum. It’s about a circuit preacher in the old west.
Q. What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
A. I’m pretty transparent. I guess if I had to say something, it would be that I’m a cowboy at heart.