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Falcon AD takes over at new school

By FRANK PASTOR

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 12, 2001


TAMPA -- For the chance to build a program from the ground up, Louis Diaz left the comfort of an office for a trailer on a construction site.

Diaz, who oversaw Leto's athletic program for the past five years, was named Alonso's first athletic director. He was appointed by principal Sandy Bunkin on April 3. The next day, he began work in a temporary office in a trailer on school grounds.

"I had an interest in experiencing the opening of a new school and starting from the beginning," Diaz said. "I thought it would be an adventure I would enjoy and also learn a lot from."

Diaz, 47, had served as Leto's athletic director and assistant principal for administration since 1996.

He previously worked as a social studies teacher at Leto (1985-91), assistant principal at then-Pierce Junior High ('91-'93) and assistant principal at Adams Middle School ('93-'96).

John Hopkins, Leto's assistant principal for student affairs, assumed Diaz's duties on an interim basis.

Diaz helped design Alonso's basketball court Tuesday. He next will hire a coaching staff, starting with the fall and winter sports, and find locations for the golf, tennis and swim teams.

Alonso, a 1,600-student high school in Town 'N Country, will open in the fall. It will draw from Davidsen and Roland Park middle schools as well as Sickles and Jefferson high schools.

The school chose the nickname Ravens and will wear navy blue, gold and white. It will offer all 13 sports in which the Western Conference competes.

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