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End of an era: Belew steps down as THS athletic director
THS AD pic2
Former track coach Mike Brown will continue the rich Bulldog athletics tradition as Turlock High's newest AD. - photo by Photo Contributed

After more than a decade of overseeing Bulldog athletics, Anthony Belew has passed the baton of athletic director responsibilities to Mike Brown, a long time Turlock High cross country and track and field coach.

“I love it here. It is a great school with a great tradition of athletics,” said Brown. “I know as a coach when you take over it's a lot of work, but the following year it gets a bit easier. Anthony made it look so easy, he was fantastic.”

Although he will no longer hold the AD title, Belew still plans to help guide Bulldog athletes. He will be assisting the JV football team, the boys tennis team and he will return to help the athletes on the mat in wrestling, something Belew was very familiar with, having coached the program for nearly 14 years.

 “I will still be very involved. But I was telling some of the kids how I will see them a lot more now that I don't have to go to as many meetings,” he said.

Belew, who has spent 20-plus years teaching English, has moved over to teaching Physical Education and weight lifting over the past four years, something he hopes to continue to do as well.

“I'm looking forward to reconnecting with coaching and enjoying it,” said Belew. “Knowing after practice that I don't have to go back online and check emails and chat with all the parents and put out a fire somewhere, it's relaxing a lot more being less of an administrator.”

Belew was integral in continuing a rich THS athletic tradition.

During the 2015-16 season, the boys basketball and baseball teams earned Central California Conference titles.

The volleyball team finally stopped Pitman's run and split the CCC title and the boys and girls golf teams continued their streak of CCC titles while the boys and girls tennis teams also captured CCC titles.

“It's about the kids... I can always be replaced but hopefully the next guy, which is Mike, does better but I wish there was a book to tell him what to do, but there is nothing, more of thinking on your feet,” said Belew about the responsibilities of being an AD.

“I just don't want to screw up. That is what I told someone but there will be things that happen that you can't do but just learn from it all as we go on,” said Brown.

Brown, who is a native of Le Grand, Oregon and a first time AD, had stepped down from coaching for three years while he worked towards getting his master's degree and now feels he is ready for more of an administration job.

“The thing is you go behind someone like Anthony and you are blessed because I have great people around me I am very fortunate for that," said Brown.