Many students don’t know what to pursue after college, or for that matter, what to study in school. City College is the perfect place to experiment in different fields of study until you find one that’s just right for you.
City College Assistant Athletic Director and Life Fitness Center Director Paul Carmazzi says he never had a plan or an idea of what he was going to do after college. Yet his time in college led to staying in college because he began working at City College as a baseball coach in 1978 while he was still a Sacramento State student.
Carmazzi, 60, actually started as a student at City College. He played baseball under legendary City College coach Jerry Weinstein. Carmazzi transferred to Sacramento State and graduated in 1979 with an undergraduate degree in business administration. While at Sacramento State, he played baseball until he was injured.
That’s when Carmazzi was offered his first job at City College. He took a position as an assistant baseball coach in 1978 under Weinstein, a year before graduating from Sacramento State, and he has worked here ever since.
“I came in as an assistant coach and the rest is history,” says Carmazzi, who coached primarily during the 1980s and 1990s when City College won numerous state championships and served as a training ground for scores of players who ended up on Major League Baseball teams. Carmazzi’s assistant coaching job led to a part-time teaching position, something he never imagined he would do.
“In college if someone would’ve told me, ‘You’re going to be a teacher and a coach,’ I would’ve said, ‘No I’m not doing that,’” he says. “Then the next thing you know, 39 years later, I’m still going down this road. I never had a specific job in mind. I just knew whatever I was going to do, I would work hard at it.”
Carmazzi’s strong, authoritative voice, fit build, gray hair and sporty look resemble that of a coach, which in Carmazzi’s case fits him just right. In his office, he sits upright, yet still relaxed in his office chair, legs crossed, and often gestures with his hands, while talking and laughing at a few of his responses. He gives off an inviting, honest vibe.
Carmazzi, who has a master’s in physical education and an MBA, directs the Life Fitness Center, as well. His jobs on campus consist of overseeing LFC’s equipment, faculty and scheduling, as well as running over 18 sports programs. But Carmazzi’s role doesn’t stop there.
“I’ve known Paul for 10 years now,” says Mitch Campbell, dean of the Kinesiology, Health and Athletics Division and athletic director. “The importance of Paul to our division cannot be overstated. He is a Hall of Fame coach, and in my mind, a Hall of Fame assistant athletic director.”
Though Carmazzi was awarded a place in the coveted California Community Colleges Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2010 and played ball as a teenager at Christian Brothers High School, he admits baseball isn’t his first love. He says a high school friend talked him into trying out for the City College team. And baseball led to a career path he didn’t know he was headed for.
Carmazzi says he ended up spending 13 years as City College’s athletic director and 28 years as the assistant baseball coach. He has been in charge of the LFC since 2007. During his many years here, Carmazzi has made friends with a large number of students, faculty and staff and has built a legacy on campus.
It’s not hard to tell that Carmazzi is well-loved and appreciated by his colleagues and students. The bond he has with many of them is stronger than bonds most professors on campus have with students. A few students even have a family history with Carmazzi. Danny Chavez Jr., a City College student and baseball player, says his dad was recruited by Carmazzi in 1990.
“Oh, my goodness. You’re a spitting image of your dad,” Carmazzi said to Chavez when they were first introduced earlier this year.
“I think Paul is a great part of history to Sac City athletics and baseball,” Chavez says. “He was part of setting the standards that all Sac City baseball players are held to.”
Carmazzi says he has always been drawn back to City College when considering jobs at other colleges. The diversity and aesthetics of the campus is what he loves the most. As a Panther alumnus, he returned to pay homage to his school in more ways than many people realize. Carmazzi’s days as a Panther student may be long gone, but it seems as if he will remain a Panther for life.