John Vlahos began his tenure as Athletics Director at West Valley College in January 2014. Vlahos has been able to build on the rich tradition of Viking athletics, focusing on academic excellence, athletic competitiveness, community engagement, and capital improvements.
Under Vlahos, two Viking student athletes, Adam Fenyvesi and Janelle McAfee, gave the Valedictorian address at their respective commencement ceremonies. McAfee was named the CCCAA Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2018. Several student athletes have been recognized as Academic All Americans at the state and national level.
Athletically, the Vikings have won 16 Coast Conference championships since 2014. The men’s water polo team has won three NorCal championships and was the state runner-up in 2017. The women’s water polo team won its first Coast championship in school history in 2018. In 2019, the women’s team repeated as undefeated conference champions and won its first NorCal championship.
Beach volleyball won its first Coast championship in 2018 led by the pairs team of Mapu Sekona and Kaylin Henderson, who won the NorCal title and finished second at the state tournament. In 2020, the basketball team won its first conference championship in over a decade under first-year coach Danny Yoshikawa (in his second stint leading Viking basketball). Sayeh Faridnia was a three-time state champion in swimming from 2017-18, and Dominique Yoder won a state title in the 100-yard breaststroke at the 2017 state championships.
Under Vlahos’s leadership, West Valley College has hired six full-time coaches, a full-time embedded Athletics Counselor, two full-time Athletics Trainers, and a Sports Information Director. The Vikings established the beach volleyball program and reinstated women’s tennis after a 30-year hiatus. West Valley College launched a new Presto Sports website, entered into an apparel partnership with Adidas, and has hosted high-profile events such as the 2018 CCCAA Men’s and Women’s Water Polo State Championships and the 2017 and 2018 CCCAA Beach Volleyball State Championship. Additionally, West Valley athletic facilities have served as a practice site for numerous national teams, as well as the NCAA College Cup.
Vlahos has overseen numerous capital improvements since 2014. A total renovation of the beach volleyball facility now makes it one of the best in the country. The tennis courts have been completely resurfaced. New Nevco scoreboards have been built at baseball, soccer, beach volleyball and the gymnasium. The gymnasium floor has been redone. In May 2020, West Valley College broke ground on a new $19 million softball complex, which promises to be one of the best in the country at the community college level. Plans are in the works for the renovation of the baseball complex beginning at the end of the 2021-2022 season. Planning will soon begin for a new Wellness Complex funded by the recent passage of bond Measure W.
Vlahos came to West Valley College in 1997 as an assistant football coach and, from 2002-2008, he served as the head football coach. His 2003 team won the Golden Gate Conference championship. In 2007, one of his football players, Ziad Al-Helew, was the CCCAA Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Vlahos and his son, Matthew, reside in Los Gatos.