SHC Athletic Director Jo Ann Momono to Retire

After three decades at the helm of the Sacred Heart Cathedral’s Athletic Department, Jo Ann Momono has announced she will retire at the end of the 2019-20 academic year. Her expertise and competitive spirit have established SHC Athletics as a powerhouse in the Bay Area. “Her concern for the welfare and personal growth of all of our student-athletes is genuine, exceptional and will have an impact on this community and its members for years to come,” says SHC Principal Gary Cannon, PhD.

After earning her BS in Physical Education from the University of California at Berkeley, Jo Ann obtained her teaching credential and began her career as an athletic director, coach, and physical education instructor at San Francisco’s St. Rose Academy, coaching SHC’s own Margi Beima (head coach, girls varsity volleyball) along the way. After the closure of St. Rose in 1990, Jo Ann moved to SHC and served as head volleyball coach (1990-92) winning two league titles, and subsequently as director of athletics. Jo Ann was named CCA Athletic Director of the Year 1993-94, and she has the distinction of being both the first female athletic director in the Western Catholic Athletic League (WCAL), and the longest tenured of all WCAL athletic directors. Throughout her career, Jo Ann championed and ensured equal commitment to female athletics, helping the WCAL to expand to become a league for both girls and boys sports. Annually, she and co-Athletic Director Phil Freed ’80 oversee more than 700 student-athletes participating on 56 teams with a coaching staff of 104.

Throughout her career at SHC, Jo Ann has enjoyed watching and celebrating her teams and their accomplishments: seven CIF State team titles (and two CIF State individual titles), 18 NorCal titles, 43 CCS titles and 24 league titles (WCAL, GPSL, CGAL). Among other firsts during Jo Ann’s tenure—SHC’s first state titles, first unofficial national title, and first CCS titles in football, and boys’ and girls’ soccer.

Jo Ann has also served to expand SHC athletic programs, helping establish and oversee SHC’s Athletic Training and Weight & Conditioning programs, and new sports such as boys and girls lacrosse. She has been key to the expansion and improvement of SHC’s athletic facilities, including the practice field, Student Life Center, batting cages, and the use of the USF baseball field for home games.

Cannon shares, “I am humbled by Jo Ann’s leadership experience and service, especially earlier in her career, when being a female athletic director was not the easiest or most well-trod path. Ultimately, her perspective as a female leader served our school, the league, section, and state athletics in ways that improved them all.”

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