Dave Avramovich is looking for himself, to use a phrase.
More than a decade after taking on the duties of the San Marino Area director for the nondenominational Christian-based nonprofit Young Life, Avramovich becomes the regional director for the Greater Los Angeles area on Aug. 1. Among his many tasks to get acclimated to the new job are finding his replacement.
“I’ll be looking for the next ‘me,’” he said in a telephone interview, “so that’s kind of a crazy deal.”
Avramovich moved to Southern California in 2003 by way of Seattle, and was coaching in La Cañada Flintridge when Young Life’s director took note of his connection with his players. By January 2007, Avramovich took on his San Marino duties with Young Life, which aims to help kids grow through both faith- and community-based events and programs.
“The people are great, so it didn’t take long,” he said, when asked about acclimating to his then-new community. “Because I was coaching baseball and football right away, I got to quickly know a lot of parents. The parents in San Marino, they just care about their kids.”
That puts Young Life on the same page as those parents, explained Avramovich, himself a father. He pointed out research suggesting that kids and teenagers often only have minutes’ worth of meaningful interaction with adults each day, on average.
“Kids are desperate for relationships with adults,” he said. “They just don’t have them. If we can have a meaningful interaction, if we can listen for three or four minutes a day, we’re doubling that.
“They feel a lot of pressure to be great,” Avramovich added, speaking specifically on San Marino’s children. “Kids are kids. They need their playtime. They need their unstructured time. I just hope when they’re with us, they don’t feel pressured and can just relax and have a good time.”
One of those kids, San Marino High School class of ’16 graduate Chaz Davis, said he got to know Avramovich through Young Life as a middle school student and while his older brother played football for him at SMHS. Avramovich tried to take the boys to see a “Tron: Legacy” once, only to have a lightning storm continuously knock out the theater’s power.
“All that ended up happening was that we hung out at the movie theater for an hour and a half,” Davis said in a telephone interview. “We were hoping to catch one of the movies, but we ended up having a good time. Dave’s a lot of fun to be around.”
Davis later played as a linebacker for the SMHS Titans and was coached by Avramovich as a freshman and again later when he became an assistant coach for the varsity team. One of the highlights, Davis recalled, was the Bible study over breakfast each Friday, on game day (called Campaigners or Burrito Club, depending on who is asked).
Despite taking on the greater role, Avramovich, who lives in Pasadena, said he planned on keeping San Marino in his life.
“I’m going to make time for San Marino, because I love it,” he said, adding he attends San Marino Community Church. “I’m not planning on disappearing, although I’ll be around less than I was. I love so much about San Marino. I love the kids in San Marino. The school is amazing, what a great school to be a part of as a coach. Just to be a part of the community has been a real honor. I’m not going anywhere.”