San Ramon Valley athletic director John Raynor talked with me Tuesday about his decision to step down from that role after this school year.
“There were a lot of emotions connected with it,” said Raynor, 61. “I’ve had a joyous career in athletics, and it’s time to move on.”
Raynor has spent 40 years in education, 29 at San Ramon Valley, and coached the Wolves’ boys basketball team for 27 seasons until 2014. He’s been the school’s AD since 1988, a span that included 46 North Coast Section titles — including five by teams he coached.
“We’ve got a fairly decorated gym with a lot of championships, at the league level and the NCS level, some at the state level,” Raynor said. “That speaks volumes to the wonderful student-athletes that San Ramon Valley is blessed with and the tremendous coaching staff.”
Among the players he coached are Randy Winn, whose 13 seasons in Major League Baseball included six with the Giants, and Mark Madsen, a two-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Coach Raynor’s the best,” Madsen told this newspaper at Raynor’s 2010 induction ceremony into the Tri-Valley Sports Hall of Fame. “He’s not only a great coach — I truly believe Coach Raynor is one of the best coaches in the world — but he’s also a truly world-class human being.”
Raynor will take what he called “a reduced workload” with the school district next year.
“Being involved in athletics and coaching comes with a tremendous amount of time and effort, and I think it’s a lifestyle that one adopts,” he said. “With the support of my wife (Janet) over all these years … she’s afforded me the opportunity to have this lifestyle. We just took a step back, getting closer toward retirement.”
His new direction is in discussion, he said.
“San Ramon Valley Unified School District has been my home,” he said. “I’ve raised family out here with my wife and we’ve enjoyed the way in which I’ve been treated for the length of my career.”