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7 Things About Hillary Kigar

What inspired you to do this kind of work?

Honestly, I wasn’t really sure that I liked kids. But then I started coaching high school cross country and track while pursuing my master's (Sport Management) because I thought it would be a good opportunity to get my foot in the door with sports. Eight years later, I couldn’t imagine my time being spent any other way. Direct time spent with our student-athletes inspires me to give more to our school and our athletic department so that they can have the best experience possible.


What is your position here and how long have you worked at O’Dowd?

I’m the Assistant Athletic Director, Head Cross Country Coach/Assistant Track Coach, and Director of the Middle School Summer Academy. I started in 2014.


What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

My cross-country coach in high school told me “Don’t make decisions based on fear.” Of course, be safe with your choices but don’t let fear be something that holds you back. Take a deep breath, be brave, and do the dang thing.


What is your favorite thing about your job?

My favorite hours of the work day are from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. Once that bell rings I get to be outside with the cross-country team on the trails of Redwood Park coaching and connecting with our amazing runners. Then after practice, coming back to school to work on a game … football, soccer, basketball … it brings me joy to see our student-athletes thrive in their various sports, especially in competition.


What about your field or position do you think would surprise people the most?

With almost 50 teams and over 700 students participating in athletics each year, we manage a lot behind the scenes to help make sure everything goes smoothly with all of our programs. Especially logistically with just two fields and two courts on campus!


What is the most interesting or surprising thing about you?

In my life I have run almost 25,000 miles – that’s more than one trip around the world! Most of those miles were run while I was a D1 cross country and track athlete at the University of San Francisco.


If you could rescue only one thing from your burning office, what would it be?

I have a small female lion figurine on my desk that was a gift from one of my runners several years ago. That year all the girls picked animals that they felt represented them and made them feel powerful. They said I was the lion – strong, protective, and the leader of the pack.


Bonus Questions

What is your favorite kind of music/what are your favorite bands?

Growing up in Sacramento most of us all listened to hip hop/rap and country music. I still love both though just about everyone cringes when I play country.


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