In 2016, Orange Coast College named Jason Kehler as the school's Athletic Director and the department has been in good hands ever since.
"Jason will be a fantastic Athletic Director for Orange Coast College," OCC's Dean of Kinesiology and Athletics, Dr. Michael Sutliff said. "He comes highly recommended and has the background and experience to maintain and expand the high quality programming student athletics currently enjoy at OCC."
Kehler, who officially joins the Pirates' staff on July 5, comes to Coast after a 10-year career at Santa Ana College, where he served as the school's Sports Information Coordinator and, over the past two years, as the school's Assistant Director of Athletics and Sports Information.
In addition to his normal job duties at SAC, Kehler served as the Vice President and President of the California Community College Sports Information Association (CCCSIA) from 2010-2014, where he provided leadership and guidance to other sports information professionals within the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA).
"Joining the athletic department at Orange Coast is kind of surreal," Kehler said. "It's one of the premier athletic departments in the CCCAA and to be a part of it is truly an honor. After watching Coast from the other side of the field for all of these years, and getting to know members of the staff, it's a privilege to now be a part of it.
"I can't say enough good things about my time at Santa Ana College. I got to work with a lot of great people and watched some amazing student-athletes over the years. It's tough to leave and say goodbye, but I'm excited for this next chapter at the same time."
One of the brightest newcomers in the CCCSIA, Kehler was awarded the "Brass Top Award" as the top Sports Information Director in the state in 2014 and he served on two CCCAA Management Council sub-committees for the implementation of statewide statistics and social media.
Always looking to better the CCCSIA, Kehler was a part of several committees throughout his 10-year tenure at SAC and was the Webmaster for the Orange Empire Conference's official website and was the conference's statistician and writer for women's soccer (2010-present), women's basketball (2012-present) and softball (2012-present).
"I think my knowledge of the CCCAA and the OEC stands out as a trait that will allow me to serve the athletic department well," Kehler said. "I'm looking to combine that with my ability to work with a wide range of individuals to strive for the expectations that Coast has set. For me, it's about motivating others to do the best job they can so that we all enjoy the success together."
During his time as SAC's Assistant Athletic Director, Kehler served as the conference's AD representative for softball for two seasons.
"Jason joined the CCCSIA in 2006 and immediately became one of the top newcomers of our association," Orange Coast College Sports Information Director Tony Altobelli said. "His hard work, determination and leadership qualities vaulted him to one of the most respected individuals in the CCCAA, not just in our association."
Kehler graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in communications and while at SAC, he earned his master's degree in coaching and athletic administration in 2012 from Concordia University, Irvine.
"I believe Jason will provide the right leadership that forges a relevant and current vision for Orange Coast College Athletics and I expect he will be innovative and entrepreneurial in his programming and management of the Athletics Department," Sutliff said. "Jason is well versed in the CCCAA Constitution and has worked closely with coaches and staff in maintaining departmental compliance at his previous institution. I look for Jason to do the same at Orange Coast College while expanding our programming and improving our mechanisms to support a culture of compliance."