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Pack honored by High School Sports Assoc.

San Diego County’s High School Sports Association (HSSA) honored former Fallbrook High School coach and athletic director Tom Pack during the HSSA awards ceremony February 2 at the San Diego Hall of Champions.

Pack received the HSSA’s administrator award.

He was introduced by HSSA board member Dennis McClanahan, who coaches cross-country and track and field at Mount Carmel High School and stepped down last year as Mount Carmel’s athletic director.

“I learned from Tom Pack what hard work, dedication, and desire can achieve,” McClanahan said. “I truly appreciate everything he did.”

Pack had some childhood activity with San Diego County sports, as his father was stationed at Camp Pendleton during World War II and Pack lived in Vista for part of his youth.

Pack’s father officiated football games and often worked with Bob Williamson, who was the athletic director both at Vista High School and at Fallbrook High School.

Pack attended Alemany High School in the San Fernando Valley before playing both football and basketball at Colorado State University.

Pack began his coaching career at Lausen High School, a Catholic school in San Pedro.

When Lausen closed, Pack was hired by Bob Thomas, who at the time was Fallbrook High School’s principal.

“I was lucky to come to Fallbrook,” Pack said.

Pack has lived in Fallbrook for 37 years. He began coaching the Warrior football team in 1971 as an assistant coach.

He spent 17 years as Fallbrook’s head football coach, winning a league championship in 1983 and a CIF championship in 1986.

Pack spent 23 of his 25 years at Fallbrook High School as the athletic director.

“I was fortunate to have great coaches,” he said. “You have good coaches, things get accomplished.”

The delegation from Fallbrook who witnessed Pack’s recognition included former Fallbrook High School basketball coaches Jack Sandschulte and Russ Keith and current boys’ golf coach Steve Jorde.

Two basketball coaches from Great Oak High School in Temecula were also present for Pack’s award; Jeff Pack coaches Great Oak’s girls’ junior varsity team and Missy Pack coaches the freshman girls.

“There can be no greater thing than to have your children become coaches,” Tom Pack said.

Pack’s other son, Steve, has coached youth sports. In January Steve, who formerly played minor league baseball, was named as a scout for the Detroit Tigers.

Former Fallbrook High School athletic secretary Anna Shields was also on hand to see Pack honored.

In 1996 Pack left Fallbrook High School for the Poway Unified School District, where he began as an assistant principal at Poway High School and spent the final five years as both the athletic director and an assistant principal.

He followed his eight years at Poway High School with four years as the assistant principal of Chaparral High School in Temecula.

He retired last year, but after a three-month retirement over the summer he returned to Chaparral as the temporary principal.

“I’ve been fortunate to be at some really good schools,” Pack said. “There have been people all along who have given me a direction.”

His most recent positions in Temecula, which is in the California Interscholastic Federation’s Southern Section, has convinced him that the CIF San Diego Section maintains closeness even as it has grown.

Pack believes that the High School Sports Association has contributed to that closeness.

“This organization has played a great role in honoring coaches and people and <athletic directors>,” he said. “It’s not often that you have an organization like that in a CIF section.”

Four current or former head coaches and two assistant coaches were also honored February 2, as were two service award recipients and retired sportswriter Jerry Magee.

The High School Sports Association was formed in 1988.

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