Q&A: Athletics Director Christina Okubo


The Catalyst / Photo Courtesy of Christina Okubo

Sports Editor Ashley Strain sat down with Athletics Director Christina Okubo to reflect on the past year in her new position.

The Catalyst (TC): What changes have you implemented this year to the program?

Christina Okubo (CO): The challenge with taking on any new position your first year is that you don’t want to implement changes too fast. I am really trying to implement more policy because COVID changed a lot of things. I saw a lot of challenges with commitment levels and attendance issues, things like that. So part of what I want to implement this upcoming year is adding policies to really hold the student athletes more accountable. So that the commitment to the program is better.

TC: What do you hope to achieve next year?

CO: Something that I’d ultimately like to achieve for year two is really making sure that we prioritize the importance of good sportsmanship and implement in our coaching philosophy the importance of positivity and good character in sports. As the athletic director, I notice that there is an overarching problem in youth sports that many athletes (and parents) have difficulty dealing with losing and winning at all costs. I think we need to re-emphasize the important values like being a good teammate and taking pride in representing your school community, regardless of the outcome of the game.

TC: How would you describe the sport philosophy of NDB and the student-athletes here?

CO: My philosophy is that the experience of being a student athlete, representing your school, is not all about winning. It’s about the process of how to achieve success which doesn’t always come in the form of a win. It’s taking baby steps to improvement. I want to encourage our student athletes to overcome adversity and achieve success through their experiences in education-based athletics which in turn translates to what happens in life. My motto for the athletic program is to help student athletes realize that “everything that happens in sport happens in life and to trust the process.”

TC: What is your most valued memory from the past year as first-time NDB Athletic Director?

CO: The college signing day ended up being a really great celebration. That actually might be one of my best memories right now because we had such a great turnout of parents, students, faculty members and coaches that came out.