Athletics Department

The Highline College Athletics Department, under the direction of Athletics Director John Dunn and Associate Athletics Director Laura Rosa, is a member of the Northwest Athletics Conference, which is the parent organization for thirty-six (36) community colleges located in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. The Athletics Department consists of nine sports: Men’s and Women’s Basketball; Men’s and Women’s Soccer; Men’s Wrestling; Women’s Volleyball; Women’s Tennis; Women’s Softball; and Women’s Golf.

  Coaches/Staff Directory

2021-22 NWAC Sports Information Calendar


Athletics Director John Dunn

John Dunn is in his twenty eight year at Highline College and his 20th as Director of Athletics. Dunn brings a wealth of experience to this position, as he was Assistant Athletic Director for eight years, and has been a Physical Education instructor for 27 years. John attended Highline before transferring to Washington State University to complete his Bachelors Degree. He earned his Masters Degree at City University. John served as the head coach of the Highline Thunderbirds Men’s Basketball Team for three seasons, and as Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach for three seasons. Dunn is a tenured faculty member in the Health & P.E. Department.

On behalf of the athletic department and Highline College, I would personally like to welcome you to our beautiful 80 acre campus. I feel very confident that we have established the premiere academic – athletic program in the NWAC. With six women’s sports and three men’s sports, our opportunities are numerous for the potential college student – athlete. Combine this with our model academic support program, and what you have is a win-win situation for both the Student athlete and Highline College.
We are very proud of Highline College and we hope that you to will one day have the opportunity to feel the enthusiasm, camaraderie, and support that exist here.”

Assistant Athletics Director Laura Rosa

Laura Rosa, the Associate Athletics Director, also serves as the Women’s Tennis Coach and the Academic Advisor to the entire athletic department and is a specialist in the NCAA and NAIA transfer process. She is a graduate of Washington State University where she earned her BA in Sport Management as well as playing tennis.

As a coach as well as administrator, Laura has been involved in the PNW tennis community for over 20 years as a player, coach, teaching pro, and tournament director. Laura has coached multiple players who have gone on to compete at NCAA schools. Laura’s coaching philosophy, which she brings to her work as Associate Director, stems from a strength-based approach, finding and fostering each players unique style and on-court weapons. She believes in creating a whole student-athlete experience for her team which includes maintaining a balance between academics, athletics and teamship. She is a long-time believer and advocate of viewing athletics as a vehicle to earning an education.

Makoa Rosa Asst Athletic Director

Assistant Athletics Director Makoa Rosa

Makoa Rosa is the newest member to join the Highline athletic staff as Assistant Athletic Director. His role will include overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Athletics Dept. Makoa is excited to join an athletic department with such a strong history and hopes to continue its excellence.  Prior to this position, he worked in the Green River College athletic department.  Makoa played tennis for the University of Hawaii at Hilo where he earned his Bachelors Degree.  He went on to earn his Masters Degree in Sports Management from American Public University.  Makoa also serves as the assistant tennis coach for the Highline Women’s tennis program.


Athletics Facilities Manager Barry Carel

Barry Carel has been at Highline since 2001 and manages all the college’s athletics facilities, including the softball and soccer fields and the Pavilion, where women’s Volleyball, Men’s Wrestling, and Men’s and Women’s Basketball are played. In addition to supervising the student workers in the Athletics Dept., Barry oversees the live streaming of home soccer, basketball, and volleyball games.

Athletics Department History

Highline College was founded as the first public two-year college in King County. Sports at the college soon followed.  At first it was as intramurals, with “The Slugs” bowling team winning the championship in 1962. Intramural sports in track, golf, basketball, and tennis quickly followed.

It was Men’s Basketball that first took to league play, joining the Washington State Junior College Basketball Conference in 1963.  Men’s and Women’s Tennis soon followed in competing with other colleges, and the Highline College Athletics Department took form.

Men’s Sports

  • Basketball: November to February
  • Soccer: August to October
  • Wrestling: November to February

Women’s Sports

  • Basketball: November to February
  • Fastpitch: March to May
  • Golf: October to May
  • Soccer: August to October
  • Tennis: March to May
  • Volleyball: August to November