Past Commissioners

Jim Sperou (1964-1992)

James Sperou was a graduate of St. Monica's High School in Santa Monica, Ca. Before entering college, Mr. Sperou was in the Navy where he served on the USS Bellawood Aircraft in WWII. He graduated from San Francisco State College in 1953 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree; after graduation, Mr. Sperou started his career in education at Washington High School in Fremont, California. He taught physical education and industrial arts and coached track and field, football, and swimming. In 1964, Mr. Sperou became the first Mission Valley Athletic League Commissioner where he devoted his 28 year career serving the needs of student athletes and promoting the value of educational athletics. Mr. Sperou passed away in 2008 and the Mission Valley Athletic League has since named an award in his honor recognizing him for the foundation he laid for all those who followed him. The Jim Sperou All-Sports Champion is awarded annually to the school with the greatest number of points accumulated from school standings at the end of each sport season.

Rob Vares (1992-2003)

Robert Vares attended Washington High School in Fremont, graduating in 1963 with the distinguished White Sweater Athlete Award. He received a baseball scholarship to Fresno State, where he graduated in 1967, and then earned his teaching credential the following year. Mr. Vares was employed by Fremont Unified School District for 35 years, serving as a teacher, athletic coach, and administrator. During that time, he also served as the second Mission Valley Athletic League Commissioner, taking over in 1992 and remaining in the position for 11 years. After his unfortunate passing in 2003, the MVAL recognized Mr. Vares' contributions to the community and league by naming an award for him, the Robert F. Vares Varsity Cup (the school with the highest total number of Varsity points over the course of a school year).

Frank Gygax (2003-2007)

Frank Gygax was a 1965 graduate of Washington High School where he was a 1st team All American swimmer and water polo player (prior to all league teams). After attending Chabot College, Mr. Gygax served on a guided missile destroyer in the Vietnam War for two years. Upon returning from the war, Mr. Gygax attended San Jose State and received his degree in science as well as his teaching credential. He returned to Fremont to teach at the newly formed American High School in 1972 where he taught science for 36 years until he retired in 2008. Mr. Gygax was also the first swim coach in American High School's history, doing so for 35 years and receiving numerous honors in that time, highlighted by being named Northern California Girls Swimming Coach of the Year by the North Coast Section. Since his retirement, the pool at American has been renamed the Frank Gygax Swim Complex in his honor. Handpicked as the replacement for Mr. Vares, Mr. Gygax honorably served as MVAL Commissioner from 2003 until 2007.

Tom Breen (2007-2022)

Tom Breen was a 1968 graduate and multi-sport athlete of Newark High School. Mr. Breen went on to play football at Ottawa University in Kansas. He returned to teach and coach football and basketball at Memorial High in 1973 until 1981 when the school combined with Newark High to form Newark Memorial High. He then coached badminton until 1997 when he became the vice principal at Newark Memorial. Over the course of his coaching career, Tom won a combined 9 league championships and has been inducted into the Newark Ring of Honor. In 2007, Mr. Breen retired from Newark Unified School District after 34 years of service. Upon retirement from education, Mr. Breen immediately stepped into the role of MVAL Commissioner, where he admirably served the league until 2022.