Crusaders hire from within: More on Paola

More on Saint Louis’ hiring of new athletic director Ed Paola.

Paola is relishing the opportunity to move into a new direction. His background as an athlete, coach and soldier isn’t unique, but his energy as a teacher may be. In the classroom, he made it a personal goal to make science fun for students.

“I’m very familiar with all of it,” he said of student-athletes and coaches. “Sports, if done right, can make any school stronger, everywhere. But what’s important is the boys, making them men, and athletics being part of that education. Athletics can teach kids to be assertive and work hard.”

Saint Louis spokesperson Jodi Yoshida said a stack of application forms have come in since the school advertised its football coaching vacancy. Kirimitsu said, several weeks ago, that the new AD would have the autonomy necessary to make that choice.

Judging from Paola’s vision of what — and who — the ultimate coach in football history is, that bar is rather high.

“Bill Walsh. He’s a true mentor coach, and I don’t even like the 49ers,” he said.

Back in the classroom, students will miss Paola.

“He revamped the curriculum for the freshmen,” Los Banos noted. “It’s more hands-on now.”

Paola introduced a new world of chemistry to students, showing them what different properties can do when combined in the right amounts.

“Science is fun. We made controlled explosions with different elements,” he said.

For all of the chemical reactions and entertainment value, though, Paola’s favorite contributor to the world of science was hardly a showman.

“Dimitri Mendeleev. He had a lot of influence on the periodic table of elements,” he said.

Mendeleev’s classic, definitive book: Principles of Chemistry. With a Crusader nation clamoring for athletic success, administrators are hoping Paola’s broad experience is the right spark.

Paul Honda, Star-Bulletin


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