The San Jose Sports Authority Announces John Poch as Executive Director

For Immediate Release:

Contact for the San Jose Sports Authority:
Anne Warner Cribbs, Interim Executive Director 415.264.2067, 

 The San Jose Sports Authority announces John Poch will assume Executive Director Position

The San Jose Sports Authority on Wednesday named John Poch Executive Director. Poch, who has been the Deputy Director of Athletics for San Jose State University since 2009, succeeds Patricia Ernstrom, who recently left the organization after over a decade of service to join the San Francisco 49ers, becoming their Vice President of Special Events and Executive Director of the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship Host Committee.

The Sports Authority’s Executive Committee conducted an extensive search, with the key position criteria including: Enthusiastic Leader with knowledge of Sports, San Jose, City Government, San Jose Regional Knowledge/History, South Bay Venues & Partnerships, Olympic (USOC) visibility, NCAA Background and the ability to raise money.

“John’s extensive background in college athletics, youth sports, non-profit management, fundraising and demonstrated commitment to the community, are significant assets for the Sports Authority,” said Board Chairman Charlie Faas. “We are fortunate to have a new Executive Director who not only is talented, but knows our history, has a deep understanding of our business, our community and our mission.”

Poch is no stranger to Sports Authority having worked with the agency in numerous capacities over the past two decades, including the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the ‘99 & 2000 NCAA Women’s College Cup, where he served as the Tournament Director and as a member of the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame board since 2010. He becomes the third Executive Director of the Sports Authority following Dean Munro (1991-06) and Patricia Ernstrom (2007-17).

“I am thrilled to be named the Executive Director of the Sports Authority,” Poch said. “Having worked with Dean, Patricia and the Sports Authority staff in various capacities since 1997 has kept me involved with the agency for over 20 years. It is an honor to continue the work of Dean and Patricia. They are two amazing leaders that have had a significant impact on my professional career. I look forward to serving the Board and working with the staff in our efforts to work on behalf of San Jose to bring a wide variety of sports events to the San Jose and the South Bay, as well as to enrich our communities through sports and youth programs.”

During his tenure at San Jose State University, John was part of the senior management team that led the Spartans with the move to the Mountain West Conference in 2012. John was a key contributor in the fundraising efforts that changed the landscape of South Campus with the additions of the Spartan Golf Complex, football practice fields, soccer game facility and the new tennis complex scheduled to break ground this month. In addition to the facility projects, John also served as the Executive Director of the Spartan Foundation, which raised over $1M annually for athletics to support scholarships, academic services and team support over the past 8-years. Prior to San Jose State, Poch served as the Executive Director of the After-School All-Stars of Greater San Jose – a program targeting at-risk youths from 2001-2008. More than 3,000 students from 50-plus elementary and middle schools in San Jose were After-School All- Stars beneficiaries.

“We are very pleased to have someone as talented as John join our team with the Sports Authority,” said Anne Warner Cribbs, Sports Authority Board member and the interim Executive Director. “What he has done with San Jose State Athletics and his previous work with the After-

School All-Stars program is impressive. With his strong and deep connections to the valley and San Jose, John is a tremendous addition to the team.

Poch is a graduate of San Jose State University and the Sports Management Institute – a collaboration of the Universities of Southern California, Texas, Michigan, Notre Dame and North Carolina. The Sports Management Institute provides a specialized executive management program for sports professionals. He begins his role with the Sports Authority in July.

About the San Jose Sports Authority

The San Jose Sports Authority is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the City of San Jose’s economic development, visibility and civic pride through sports. Serving as the City’s sports commission since in 1991, the Sports Authority has provided leadership and support to attract and host hundreds of sporting events in San Jose and the South Bay. The Sports Authority also supports and operates community, youth and amateur sports programs, including the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame and the REACH Youth Scholarship Program. To learn more, visit