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Seabury alum Meyer returning home to take over as AD at alma mater

Meyer

It was a meeting as a sophomore with her volleyball coach and athletic director at Seabury Hall, Steve Colflesh, that put Yacine Meyer on the path to following in Colflesh’s footsteps nearly two decades later.

That became reality within the last two months as Meyer, the former four-sport standout for the Spartans, was revealed as the school’s new athletic director in an email from the school to The Maui News on Tuesday.

Meyer, who played four years of NCAA Division I volleyball at Radford University, has a master’s degree in sports management from the University of San Francisco and has worked for the the University of California athletic department, Golden State Warriors, Oakland Raiders and Oakland A’s. She starts her new gig Aug. 1.

“I want to be a youth developer, I want to coach, I want to run a school sports program,” Meyer said. “I want to do all that, so this is a great opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. And I’m coming back home, I get to be back home. That’s like the big thing for me, was moving back home and being close to my parents and seeing all my friends.”

Meyer most recently worked for Boys and Girls Clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“I’ve been in the Bay for, like, seven years — it’s been a good chunk of time. I’ve learned a lot, I’ve gained a lot, gained a lot of experience and I’m really grateful for the time that I’ve had in the San Francisco Bay Area and really, really building up my resume to get a job like this,” she said.

The 31-year-old 2008 Seabury Hall graduate remembers that fateful meeting with Colflesh in the corner office of the Erdman Athletic Center as the day when she realized she wanted to get the very same job someday.

“This is something that I love and want to do and grow in and hopefully I can be like a Coach Colflesh and be there for 30 years,” Meyer said.

The call from Head of School Maureen Madden in April came as a surprise for Meyer. Previously, current athletic director Scott Prather had approached Madden and expressed his wish to step back into the classroom to teach math, and the wheels started to roll.

As discussions went on, Meyer’s name popped up through Seabury Hall administrator Kaimana Brummel, another former volleyball standout at the school under Colflesh.

“We are so excited,” Madden said via phone from her summer vacation in New Jersey. “I heard about Yacine through Kaimana. We weren’t really looking. Scotty had said, ‘You know, I will be AD for as long as you need me, for as long as you want, but I really, really miss teaching, I really miss being in the classroom. If something works out that you can find a replacement for me, that would make me really happy.’

“So I kind of was just poking around, trying to find a good fit. … I didn’t want just to put a body in there, I wanted it to be the right person. We reached out to Yacine and talked to her and as soon as I met her, I fell in love with her. She is just going to be a shining light at Seabury Hall.”

It was simply an opportunity that Meyer couldn’t let go — she was born in Africa and has lived on “four of five continents” when her father was working as a U.S. diplomat. She spent the last part of elementary school and middle school in Hana before moving to Seabury Hall for her high school years.

“I’m very excited, because I always look at it, people don’t leave this job,” Meyer said. “Athletic directors, especially on Maui, are there for like forever — they don’t leave for 30, 40 years. It’s just an opportunity that I knew I couldn’t pass up. I knew that I wanted to be a part of this journey.”

Colflesh was one of the largest driving forces behind the establishment of the Division II level of play across the board in Hawaii.

“Yes, Colflesh is legendary and the things that he did there helped D-II, but coming in there with my own vision and understanding what it takes to run an athletic department at that level,” Meyer said. “Schools in the Bay are huge, but coming back home and being a part of the Seabury Hall community and being able to create something new is really exciting for me.”

Prather will remain as assistant AD and he will also remain the school’s boys basketball coach. He was a standout basketball player at Maui High and UH Hilo in the 1990s.

“I just want to be around the kids,” said Prather, who has held the AD job since August 2019. “I found myself kind of yearning and missing the kids the last few years. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity in working in athletics and to be the athletic director has been an honor, but I just found my true fulfillment comes in a more, direct, hands-on way with the kids.

“So, these last two years, while I taught a little bit, I didn’t quite have the same sort of professional fulfillment and happiness that I had had previously and I voiced that to Maureen and said, ‘I think that’s where I’m supposed to be right now in my career path, so that’s what I’m going to do.’ “

Leaving the AD post is much easier for Prather knowing that it is going to Meyer.

“She’s been training for this kind of position for a long time,” Prather said. “I believe she’s been looking to come home and this is an opportunity to do both at a great school. I think she’s a great fit for the programs and for moving everything into the future.

“You know, I’m going to be there to make sure that she has all the support she needs and she has guidance and everything she needs to be successful.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

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