HISD hires first female athetlic director

HOUSTON To say Marmion Dambrino loves sports is an understatement. She was always athletic, but her high school girls' basketball coach put a career in motion with some advice.

"Set your goals high, never give up, stay focused. And I did that," said Marmion Dambrino, HISD Athletic Director.

She set her sights on education. Her mother was a school administrator who came to Houston and joined HISD as a teacher, while also coaching both girls and boys sports. She later became a school administrator herself, but now she's at the top of her game so far as HISD's first female athletic director.

"I also knew the level playing field that was there within our district. The staff is tremendous. And I thought if I'm ever given an opportunity, and if there's ever a time, it is now," Dambrino said.

On this day, she inspected the new field at Butler Stadium.

"This is incredible. This is artificial turf. This is nice," she said.

She even caught a pass. Dambrino has worked with the stadium facilities directors for years, but one in particular already considers her a mentor.

"I can sit back and I can take a look and see how she's doing it. So she'll help me as a role model as well," said Rhonda Rogers, Barnett Stadium Director.

Dambrino says she's already setting a new goal: getting more students involved in school athletics. That requires them to keep their grades up, and for standout athletes, it can provide college scholarships.

She'll give them the same advice she got: Never give up and stay focused.

It seems to work.

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