BY DAVID RUSSELL
Brian Goldstein just had to convince the student government at LaGuardia Community College. For a decade, hopes of sports coming to the school had been halted.
Goldstein understood what it took to get the job done.
“We can’t do this without funding. The funding that was available was to get it through student activities fees,” he said.
Before presenting, Goldstein met with the commissioner of CUNY athletics and other athletic directors.
After years of not being able to get an athletic program off the ground, LaGuardia Community College will have men’s and women’s basketball teams in the fall. Goldstein was chosen as athletic director after years as the Director of Student Life and the Director of Recreation at the school. After interviewing 80 candidates for each spot, he hired Ben Chobhaphand and Anthony Alfaro to lead the men’s and women’s teams, respectively.
“I asked my committee for a 30-second synopsis of each coach. Ben and Anthony were energized, motivated,” Goldstein said. “Ben came from the CUNY system. He got in that seat and said he’s someone who did it, you can do it. Anthony has raised a family, has a business and he really gets it when it comes to women athletes. They command a certain ability to inspire.”
Chobhaphand played at Queensborough Community College, before becoming head coach at Forest Hills High School. After missing out on the QCC coaching job last year, he became an assistant at Nassau Community College.
“Being a former CUNY athlete and team captain helped me,” Chobhaphand said. “They can see a little bit of me in them.”
Chobhaphand said his time as an assistant has a lot to do with him getting the job.
“I learned so much in one basketball season,” he said. Alfaro said he is feeling confident about his team because of the support from the top.
“I definitely expect us to be competitive right off the bat,” he said. “I think we’re developing because the administration is very behind the program.”
Goldstein said he puts academics first, sports second.
“Winning is great, but the bottom line is getting a degree and moving on to a four year school. That is success for us,” he said.
The role of athletic director is one Goldstein is enjoying tremendously.
“If the college came out and filled the stands, that would thrill me,” he said. “I’m so recharged. If you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life.”