Anchoring the Sailors

August 19, 2003

Barry Faulkner

Navigating the daily obstacle course that comes with his position of

authority, there are inevitable instances when Eric Tweit wishes the

buck stopped somewhere else. But, he said, those moments are quickly

submerged beneath the satisfaction and appreciation he has for the

teachers, coaches, staff members, parents and student-athletes he

works with as boys athletic director at Newport Harbor High.


"At least once every day, there is a time when I wish I wasn't the

athletic director," Tweit said. "Then, I think of all the people I'm

fortunate enough to work with here and to be doing what I do. Even a

bad day here is better than a day spent anywhere else."

Tweit has worked elsewhere in a 30-year career as a teacher, coach

and administrator. But, since arriving at Newport Harbor in February,

1980, he has been an enduring and tireless fixture, who has helped

continue and even broaden the school's reputation as one of the best

all-around athletic programs in Orange County and beyond. He will

begin his 14th year as athletic director in the fall.

The Sailors have a proud boys tradition in water polo (11 CIF

Southern Section championships), volleyball (three), tennis (three),

football (two), cross country (one, to go with a CIF State crown)

and, in recent years, swimming (one) and basketball. Newport also has

a CIF title to its credit in soccer.

Bill Barnett spent more than 30 seasons as the boys water polo

coach and is still heavily involved in the program, coached the last

two years by Jason Lynch. Barnett, along with football coach Jeff

Brinkley and volleyball head man Dan Glenn, both with 17 years under

their belt as head coach of their respective programs, Larry Hirst

with eight years at the basketball helm, and Nowell Kay, a combined

29 seasons as an assistant in two sports before taking over cross

country and track and field last fall, are the anchors of a staff

that also includes many longtime assistant coaches.

Veteran assistants pervade in football, including Bill Brown (21

seasons), Mike Bargas (11), Tony Ciarelli (10) and Bill Calloway


Les Cutler, now working on the lower levels, is another coach with

a long association with the aquatics programs, while athletic

secretary Judy Ayers, with more than 20 years on the job, is

universally viewed as the glue to the entire athletic operation.

"Where we're most fortunate is the core of coaches who have hung

in there, and you have to start with Bill Barnett," Tweit said. "When

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