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A man who simply cared for the kids

Posted: Saturday, May 4th, 2013

When Brad Hubbard finally steps down from everything and decides to call it quits, he deserves more than just a cake, some juice and a few cards.

Every now and then something weird happens. A person decides to devote themselves to a cause and give their life to something bigger than themselves.

In his two 8-year stints as athletic director at Watsonville High School, Hubbard has done more than anyone could’ve asked for.

He showed up on the weekends to open up classrooms for any staff that needed them. He drove vans to several sporting events throughout the year, wether it was during the school year or the summer. He stuck around and watched every sporting event from start to finish that was going on at the high school. He was even my first ever football coach, and ended up turning a group of talented misfits into Watsonville’s first CCS playoff team in almost a decade.

He didn’t do any of this for the money, notoriety or because he wanted people to like him. He worked tirelessly because he did something that not everyone does. He actually cared. He actually cared for kids.

“It’s all for the kids,” said Watsonville High Principal Elaine Legorreta. “That’s always what guides him. ‘What’s best for the kids? Am I tired? Yes, but the kids need this.’”

I first met him in ’06 when I was just a freshman trying out for the football team. I didn’t know it yet, but he was going to be my head football coach that year. He towered over me, extended his hand and simply said “Welcome to the team,” with no questions asked.

At that point he was just an athletic director that took down my info and had only said four words to me. But I saw him the next day, and without a hesitation he looked at me and said, “Hey Tony Nunez, how’d your first day go?”

Ask anyone who has met this man, once he has your name, it’s not going anywhere.

“I still can’t figure out how he does it,” said track and field coach and health teacher at Watsonville High Robbert Cornett, “but he know the names of every single kid. How do you do that? It’s things like that that endears him to the community.”

It’s things like that, that make him special. Despite having a banged up knee and having to limp around with cane in hand, he was there at every volleyball game watching the Wildcatz go undefeated in the Monterey Bay League.

During the Wildcatz’s first round matchup in the MBL tournament against the Christopher High Cougars, a lady and a child came up to him and asked him if he would buy a candy bar to help him pay for science camp.

Hubbard jokingly said, “I’ll buy it if I don’t have to eat.”

He got a nice chuckle out of the lady, pulled out two dollars and bought the her and the kid a candy.

It’s simple things like that, that endear him to anyone who he’s ever met.

It’s going to be weird not seeing that red Ford truck cruising around the Watsonville High School campus every day.

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