Sports

Kris Weems returns to Menlo School as the new athletic director

Menlo School has dug into its past to find a leader for the future, hiring Kris Weems as its new athletic director.

Weems, the school's former boys basketball coach, brings a wealth of experience as an administrator, coach and player at all levels from youth to NCAA Division I to the NBA.

Most recently, he was an assistant coach and scout for the Golden State Warriors. Prior to that, Weems coached at Menlo and worked in the school's Development Office, coordinating the Athletics Hall of Fame and helping to raise funds for Menlo's recent capital campaign, a highlight of which was the new Athletic Center.

"I am really excited about the opportunity and to be back with the Menlo community," Weems said. "I learned a lot at Menlo as a coach, then that experience was taken to another level when I joined the Development Office and got the chance to be involved on a daily basis with the staff and students."

Weems created many close ties with students at Menlo -- he was also an advocate, mentoring a group of students throughout each school year. During his seven-season tenure as Menlo's varsity boys' basketball coach, his teams made three trips to NorCals and won championships in seven Central Coast Section appearances. He held a 138-60 record overall and received numerous coach of the year awards in addition to being a nominee for Positive Coaching Alliance Double-Goal Coach.

Before Weems came to Menlo, he served as special assistant to the Associate Athletic Director at his alma mater, Stanford University, where he earned his BA in Sociology. A three-year starter for the basketball team, he amassed 1,235 career points and helped lead the Cardinal to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 1998 Final Four.

"Kris knows the School well and understands at a deep level the challenges and opportunities of building a strong athletics program in an environment of academic excellence," Menlo Head of School Than Healy said.

Weems takes over for Craig Schoof, who is in his 14th year as Menlo's athletic director and 27th season as baseball coach. As athletic director, Schoof has overseen a program that has won numerous titles every season -- 120 league, 30 CCS , 15 NorCal and two state championships. During his tenure, the Knights have won at least one CCS title each year, and every sport has secured at least one league title, a first for the school.

Many of his student-athletes continued on to play at the college level. His baseball teams have won 16 league titles and, in 2013, Schoof was recognized by his colleagues and named CCS Honor Coach for his contributions to the sport.

"Craig's passion and dedication have had a major impact on Menlo athletics, furthering our long legacy of coaching excellence, sportsmanship and level of play," Healy said. "We are fortunate to be starting from the strong foundation that Craig and other coaches have built over many years."

One of Weems' first tasks as the new athletic director will be to lead a newly envisioned program for grades 6-12, developing a strategic plan for athletics at Menlo for the upper and middle school divisions combined.

"It's an exciting way to run a program: It allows for some symmetry and correlation that begins with sixth grade and builds a bridge, so that the coaches and staff can give the students the support they need as they're growing and maturing," Weems said. "We can help with the process throughout—to make sure that they have a good experience on the floor, so that they'll be better students as well."

The goal is to ensure that one of Menlo's biggest co-curricular programs continues to grow, thrive and lead.

"A good listener with a wonderful sense of humor, Kris has a quiet charisma and a humble confidence that will serve him well in this leadership position, as much of the work he will do is relational in nature," Healy added. "All of us here could not be more pleased to welcome Kris back to the Menlo community, and I am confident in his ability to develop and carry out the vision for Menlo Athletics in the years to come."

— Menlo School Athletics

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Larry Frye
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 10, 2014 at 8:50 am

Welcome back Kris! We are delighted to have you back at Menlo School!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 10, 2014 at 12:47 pm

The school did wrong by Craig Schoof. A real shame


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Alum
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 10, 2014 at 1:15 pm

I can not imagine a better person to lead the Menlo Athletic Program! Lets go coach Weems! So excited for Menlo and its future.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by anon
a resident of another community
on Apr 10, 2014 at 1:58 pm

>"The school did wrong by Craig Schoof."

You betcha. The school did wrong by a number of truly stellar teachers in the last several years, the legacy of a corrupt leadership that should have been sent packing years ago and still has an existing echo in the structure of the school, including one upper-level management appointment of truly Peter-Principle proportions that has done major damage to one department that had stand-out performance in prior years.

Anyone who knows anything about the lacrosse team debacle from several years ago will know what a joke it made of the "principles" espoused by prior leadership. A shame and a joke.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anon
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 11, 2014 at 9:19 pm

Kris Weems was the best coach I ever had for any sport, at any level. I know he will be just as good in this new role. Congrats Coach!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 12, 2014 at 8:05 am

Congratulations Chris! We are all excited for what is to come!

Change is great, and without a doubt necessary.

Firing Craig Schoof was a bad move, but the way it was handled by the new head and BOD was downright appalling. In what industry is what just happened acceptable?

Who is safe? Who can voice their opinion or disagree with TH for that matter? Is it possible that the new direction is worse than where the old one left off?

TH before you make any rash decisions, please go shadow the school down the street. Better acceptance rates + better student life + better athletics / facilities + stronger donor pool--largely attributable to the strongest community that school has ever had.

-Disappointed Alum, disgusted that the only way to voice my opinion is anonymously online.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Young Alum
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 12, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Craig has always been a friend and a mentor of mine. I am really sad to see him go.

Hopefully Chris can play a similar role for many to come.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by another anon
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 12, 2014 at 12:26 pm

"Appalling" is a word that can be used to describe a number of teacher firings in the last several years, notably Beth Orr, the drama teacher, who put in 15 years of dedicated service and helped countless students find a voice they might not ever had found otherwise. Many of her students were accepted at top-notch drama programs in college, and her productions were always excellently crafted and a terrific experience for the kids. She was summarily dumped by the admins above her in a callous and completely petty maneuver distinguished by its arrogance, incompetence, heartlessness, and stupidity. Let's hope the new head can do a better job than his predecessors, and rescue the creative arts department while he's at it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Alum
a resident of Woodside
on Apr 12, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Craig Schoof is an amazing teacher, coach, role model, and leader. Menlo should have built a statue of him and renamed the baseball field after him rather than the disgraceful way they ended his tenure.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 12, 2014 at 11:46 pm

Craig has and always will be [portion removed] who was biased towards the baseball program. I'm glad to see him go. [Portion removed.]


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