Getting to Know Menlo Athletics Department: Administration

Menlo School Athletics Administrative Staff
Kris Weems – Director of Athletics
Buffie Ward Williams – Assistant Athletic Director
Joe McDonald – Middle School Athletic Director
King Christian – Middle School Assistant Athletic Director
Jon Cohen – Head Athletic Trainer
Jesse Lindenstein – Director of Performance Training
Pam McKenney – Sports Information Director
Martha Jenkins – Athletics Administrative Assistant


Kris Weems 

What is your favorite spectator sport? Basketball weems-mug2
What sport would you want to play professionally? Baseball
Who is your favorite teammate or coach and why? Brevin Knight – Brev was so adept at getting everyone to play with an edge, all while having fun during the process.  He is the most competitive person I ever played with and really helped me grow in terms of playing through mistakes and being a leader.
Which of your coaches impacted your coaching/playing style most? How?  My high school coach, Chuck Minor, was great in teaching and reinforcing fundamentals, which was a tremendous help when I got to the college level. He also had the same personality as my college coach, Mike Montgomery, so I was used to being challenged on a daily basis to raise my level of play.
Favorite athlete of all time? Michael Jordan
Favorite team? Kansas City Royals
Which Upper School or Middle School athlete would be a great coach and why? Upper School – Aidan Israelski; Aidan is a student of the game and leads by example.  He’s got a bright future in whatever he decides to do but we’re happy he’s got another season of big plays on the football field! Middle School – Austin Stull; Austin understands that he can impact games without scoring all the points.  I love that he shares the ball with his teammates and tries to make the right decision for the team every possession.

 

Buffie Ward Williams
What is your favorite spectator sport?
  Rugby
What sport would you want to play professionally?  Soccer wwbuffie-mug
Who is your favorite teammate or coach and why?  Coach:  Phil Humphreys.  Made coming to practice fun every day.  Positive.  Cared greatly about all players.  Was always willing to learn and get better as a coach.
Which of your coaches impacted your coaching/playing style most?  My dad. He cared about all players despite ability, very knowledgeable and patient coach, demanded best effort.
Favorite athlete of all time? Lionel Messi
Favorite team?  All of the late ’80s-early ’90s 49ers Super Bowl teams
Which Upper School or Middle School athlete would be a great coach and why?  Dylan Williams – soccer.  Sees the game in a way that most people don’t.  Innovative. A great student of the game.  Patient teacher.  Competitive.

Joe McDonald 
What is your favorite spectator sport?
Football 8462_mcdonald_joe
What sport would you want to play professionally? Basketball
Who is your favorite teammate or coach? Laird Richards or Bob Furr; these two coaches always had my back and never said a negative word to anyone.
Which of your coaches impacted your coaching/playing style most? Coach Beckenhauer football coach appreciated all-out effort,
Favorite athlete of all time? Leroy Kelly because he played with grit.
Favorite team? Warriors today, 49ers/Giants in the ’80s
Which Upper School or Middle School athlete would be a great coach? Jack Gold ’17

King Christian
What is your favorite spectator sport?
 Football 8412_christian_king
What sport would you want to play professionally? Football or Baseball
Who is your favorite teammate or coach? Coach Al Simmons and Coach Larry Gondola for on-field and life skills.  Also, both asked me why I wasn’t at a D1 program on the first day they saw me play.
Which of your coaches impacted your coaching/playing style most? Al Simmons and Joe McDonald – Coach McDonald for leadership and Coach Simmons for teaching the secrets and the mysteries of bump n’ run.
Favorite athlete of all time? Muhammad Ali
Favorite team? Green Bay Packers and San Francisco Giants
Which Upper School or Middle School athlete would be a great coach? Ben Somorjai ’17 – He is a natural leader with football, and of course, the baseball program.

Jon Cohen
What is your favorite spectator sport?
Baseball 8416_cohen_jon
What sport would you want to play professionally? Baseball, C’mon!
Who is your favorite teammate or coach? I had two JV coaches when I played baseball in high school. They were both young, inexperienced and made a ton of mistakes but I respected their coaching style and their passion for the game.
Which of your coaches impacted your coaching/playing style most? My varsity head coach my junior season. He was a father with two young children who he always brought to practice or games. This coach would always stop to greet the kids and made sure everyone on the team interacted with them. This coach was a great human being who had a passion for baseball. You wanted to be around him because of who he was as a father, husband and coach. he consistently demonstrated passion for life and the game.
Favorite athlete of all time? Cal Ripken
Favorite team? Orioles
Which Upper School or Middle School athlete would be a great coach? Hayden Pegley ’17 – the players respect him and he commands a presence that is very even and seldom swings to far to either side.

Jesse Lindenstein
6367_lindenstein_jesseWhat is your favorite spectator sport?
 Baseball. Probably because I’m awful at it.
What sport would you want to play/compete in professionally? Track and field. I would like to know what it feels like to be fast.
Who is your favorite teammate or coach and why? Coach Tom Martinez. Coach Martinez would always call me out when I was messing up, and would not let me get away with anything. I once had a 120-yard receiving game with two touchdowns and he made me apologize to my dad because I jumped offsides and dropped three balls. Never accept being average!
Which of your coaches had an impact on  your coaching/playing style most? Coach Larry Owens. Coach O taught me over the years that you can care personally for your athletes and still hold them to high standards. Also, sports are a small part of your life but the relationships you make with your athletes can last a lifetime.
Favorite athlete of all time? Warren Moon. The guy was just a baller, and fun to watch.
Favorite team? 1990s Nebraska Cornhuskers. I’ve always wanted to be 6’5, 300+ pounds and this school had 20-30 of them every year. They use to physically beat on teams for about 10 years straight.
Which Menlo School athlete would be a great coach? Kristin Sellers ’18 – volleyball. Great attitude when it comes to training/practice, and holds herself and her teammates accountable.

Pam McKenney
What is your favorite spectator sport?
Volleyball, basketball 6375_mckenney_pam_tso
What sport would you want to play professionally? (if I had more 10″ of height) volleyball
Who is your favorite coach and why? Mike Hazlett.  While I never played football or baseball or wrestled, he was our athletic director, and cared about every student – and always knew and asked about how athletes were doing in sports he didn’t coach.
Which of your coaches impacted your coaching/playing style most? Gymnastics coach Bill Willan was quiet, never yelled, but was the toughest coach I ever had, and got us to work harder than we thought we were capable of because he worked hard and paid attention to every detail of our technique.
Favorite athlete of all time? Bo Jackson, Nadia Comaneci
Favorite team? Atlanta Hawks
Which Menlo School athlete would be a great coach? Charlie Ferguson ’17, seems level-headed, cares deeply about his teammates and coaches, takes younger players under his wing.

Martha Jenkins
8441_jenkins_marthaWhat is your favorite spectator sport? Any sport in a HS gym, on a field, track or pitch. High school sports are the best to watch at any level.
What sport would you want to play professionally? Women’s Professional Baseball, like in a League of Their Own. I cried when that movie came out because I realized I had missed out on that time period.
Who is your favorite teammate or coach and why? When I was in my 20s I played adult softball and I had a coach name Coach Gene that use to call me O’Malley after Tom O’Malley. He didn’t even know O’Malley was my favorite Giant at the time! He was a great coach and very positive to play for.
Favorite athlete of all time? This is a tough one. My favorite athletes have as much to do with character as their athletic feats. Having been around, as well as watched so many athletes (being that I am a sports junkie), one comes to mind. I had the privilege of knowing Darren Lewis, center fielder for the SF Giants in the 90s. He was a really good player, but more importantly he was even a better person. He was soft-spoken, humble, funny. He treated everyone from the media, his teammates to the fans with respect and kindness. The manager for the Giants, during Darren’s time there, Dusty Baker named his only son after him. That is how much he thought of him too.
Favorite team? San Francisco Giants 

 

 

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