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Central Community College - Columbus is preparing for an athletic department shift on June 1 with long-time volleyball coach Mary Young stepping in as interim athletic director.

The post is currently held by Jack Gutierrez, who has been in the position since 1992 but recently announced his resignation.

Young is a former president of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Coaches Association and current Region IX women's director and currently serves on the NJCAA Board of Regents.

Young recently completed her 24th season as the head volleyball coach at CCC, but is stepping away from the program for her new opportunity.

"It will be a change in responsibilities for me," Young said. "I've been the volleyball coach for 24 years and a faculty (member) at the college for quite a few years. Moving into the athletic director position does pose some different supervising responsibilities of all our athletic programs."

Young said she is looking forward to the new position and the challenges associated with the job shift.

"I've worked in athletics for a number of years, so I enjoy the people I work with, young people and students that are looking to advance their education and to really gain experience so they can get into a good career, plus playing a sport they love," Young said. "I think there are just so many lessons that young people can learn through athletics that aren't really taught in the classroom.

"It's exciting to be a part of that on a broad scale, not just with one sport but with seven different sports. That will be really exciting and challenging at the same time."

Gutierrez and Young have worked together for many years. At one point, the duo served as the only two coaches at Central. Gutierrez was even involved with the Raiders when Young was originally an athlete on campus.

"We saw her work ethic," Gutierrez said of when Young was a student-athlete.”She came back and I was on the hiring committee when we hired her to come and be a volleyball coach. She's been through all the highs and lows and changes that have taken place.

"She was right there with me back in those early years. She was right there with us to see all the growth that has taken place. She's paid her dues and she'll be ready to take it to the next level."

Gutierrez said he's confident that he's leaving the program in good hands when Young fills the interim AD position, pointing to Young's past experiences and organizational capabilities as indicators of successful traits. 

With Young filling her new position, Abby Pollart will be taking over as head volleyball coach next season. Gutierrez said he feels good about where the pieces will fall following his departure.

"As I'm leaving I feel pretty good about the program," he said. "Everything is in good hands. We have great facilities and Mary will build on what's already there. I see things growing even more for Central." 

Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sports@columbustelegram.com.

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