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SJS commish Saco will retire

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POSTED January 18, 2014 1:02 a.m.

The Sac-Joaquin Section announced Thursday that Pete Saco’s 21st-year as its commissioner will be his last.

The 61-year-old Lincoln Hills resident made it official during Wednesday’s Board of Managers meeting and will step down on Aug. 31. Associate Commissioner John Williams will not apply for a promotion, and a nationwide search for Saco’s replacement has already begun.

Saco is just the third commissioner in the section’s 72-year history, following Clarke Coover (1968-93) and James Cave (1942-68). The section, the second largest of the 10 that are part of the California Interscholastic Federation, experienced tremendous growth under Saco, going from 115 schools 195 — a 70 percent increase.

He helped establish several scholarship and awards programs, such as the Dale Lacky Memorial Scholarship and the Dick Nelson Community Service Award, as well as the SJS Hall of Fame, which inducted its first class in 2010.

Saco’s influence is felt outside the section’s borders. The SJS was the first to introduce the 30-day sit-out period for transfers, and it is now a rule implemented by the entire state. It was he who proposed the regional and state championship football Bowl Games, and it was his idea to create an Open Division for the state basketball playoffs.

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