The Tempe Union High School District on Wednesday, April 7 approved David Klecka to become the new athletic director at Desert Vista High School.
Klecka, the current dean of students at the school, will take over for Tommy Eubanks who was hired to be the new athletic director of Mesa Public Schools this summer. Klecka will officially assume the role of athletic director at Desert Vista in mid-July.
“It’s very exciting,” Klecka said. “I’m lucky it’s happening at a school like Desert Vista with a solid tradition of excellent coaches, excellent students and excellent athletes. And to take over for someone like Tommy, it definitely makes my life a lot easier.”
A 1990 graduate of McClintock High School, Klecka played football under legendary coach Karl Kiefer and won a state title for the Chargers. In 1991 going into his sophomore year at Arizona State University, he was offered a coaching position at the newly opened Mountain Pointe High School, where Kiefer had been hired to build the football program.
Klecka served as an assistant football and track coach while also working as a night manager at Mountain Pointe. When he graduated with his teaching degree, he was hired to teach special ed while still coaching football and track at the school.
Despite his passion for coaching and teaching, Klecka left the profession in 2002 to pursue a career in sales. But when Preston Jones contacted him to become an assistant on his staff at Perry in 2018, Klecka immediately accepted the offer.
“I jumped on it and I loved every second of it,” Klecka said. “That’s when it hit me that I had to get back in.”
He remained at Perry for a year before he was hired at Desert Vista to be a special ed teacher and assistant football coach. He also was asked to help out with track and field and badminton before he became dean of students.
In his mind, he wanted to be involved in any way he could. Female or male, softball or football, none of that has ever mattered to Klecka. His main goal growing up was to make an impact on the lives of students both in the classroom and in extracurricular activities.
That’s what makes his move to athletic director of the school, in his mind, bittersweet. With his new role Klecka will be forced to step away as a coach to focus on administrative duties. But that opens up new opportunities to continue to grow Desert Vista’s athletic programs just like Eubanks did in his four years with the school.
“One of my main goals is to pick up right where he left off,” Klecka said of Eubanks. “We’ve worked side by side for two years, so we have a strong relationship where he’s kind of mentored me already. We want the facilities on this campus to be the crown jewel of this district and the state.”
Klecka has already started the transition process despite his official start date still months away. Eubanks’ gift to him was what the two call “the little black book,” a journal filled with plans, ideas and other information pertaining to the future of Desert Vista athletics.
One of the key ideas written inside pertains to the athletic facilities. Desert Vista already saw its football stadium receive a facelift in the form of a new state-of-the-art synthetic turf field and track. The school also renovated a team room that can be used for film study and meetings.
Klecka said other plans are in the works to further cement Desert Vista as a destination School for both academics and athletics.
But until then, Klecka remains focused on finishing out the year as head track coach of a Thunder program in contention yet again for a state title.
“I can’t remember the last time I was this excited,” Klecka said. “I’m excited to get to work but I still have work to do. I won five track championships while at Mountain Pointe. This is my last year and my goal is to end with a sixth.”