In the February of 1967, Dick Paynter was one of the first four full-time faculty members hired before classes were to begin that following September. He had previously been Athletic Director and Coach at Newark High School. He was one of the Founding Faculty at the temporary Serra Campus on Washington Boulevard in Fremont.
In his first year Dick was assigned as Physical Education Instructor and Coach. He was directly involved in building the athletic program from scratch and the following year he was named Athletic Director in addition to his other duties. He served in that capacity until 1993, a 25-year run. Dick retired in June 1996 after 29 years of dedicated service. Upon retirement, he was granted Emeritus status.
By the end of Dick’s first year, the new Ohlone College had an active athletic program including football, cross country, basketball and baseball teams. While at the Serra Campus, the program grew despite the need to use offsite facilities. Dick and the other coaches had to be creative in their approach. Their enthusiasm for their work and dedication to their students saw them through this initial phase of athletics at Ohlone.
As Athletic Director, Dick provided important leadership and expertise in the planning of the athletic and physical education facilities, including a gymnasium, pool and fields, on the permanent Mission Boulevard Campus. These facilities became operational in 1975. In 1977-78, under Dick’s directorship, Ohlone College won Coast Conference Championships in football, hockey, men’s soccer, wrestling, and women’s basketball, and two State Championships in women’s field hockey and men’s wrestling. During his tenure, the women’s programs were started and experienced significant growth.
In addition to teaching physical education, Dick taught emergency response, first aid, and CPR for the professional during his final the three years at Ohlone.