Athletic Director - Football Varsity Head Coach
|Phone:||(650) 329-3701 ext 5001|
Started Working at Paly: 2018 Coaching Experience: 16 years Why he coaches: "I coach because I believe in the power athletics to positively transform the lives of students, parents, and communities by embracing and practicing respect, honesty, preparation, toughness, competition, accountability and joy." Bio: Nelson Gifford is entering his first year as athletic director at Palo Alto High School. Along with being the athletic director, Coach Gifford - or "Giff" - is also the head football coach for the varsity football team. Coach Giff began working at Paly in the fall of 2018 where he was hired to be the varsity head football coach and to teach in the special education department. While Coach Gifford is a new employee at Paly, he is not new to either the school or the community. As a '99 Paly graduate, Gifford returned to his alma mater with the hope of contributing to the school's long and storied athletic history. Before becoming athletic director, coach Gifford was a special education teacher with a focus in mathematics. To go along with his 7 years spent in high school classrooms, Coach Gifford previously worked as adjunct Physical Education Teacher at Laney Community College where he was also a strength and conditioning coach and football coach (2006 - 2009). Coach Gifford is married to Mayra Valdivia, a history teacher at Yerba Buena High School. He has two children, Jonah (9) and Olivia 1 (1). Coach Gifford and Mayra are expecting their 3rd child in March of 2020.