(Claremont Courier file photo above.)
1) What was your own athletic experience? What sports did you participate in, what were some of your proudest accomplishments and what coaches had the biggest impact on you?
I was a 3 year varsity letterman in basketball and one in track back during my years La Jolla High School. I was second team all-city (San Diego) in basketball during one of those years. My dad was a college and high school basketball coach and had the biggest impact on me. He coached at UC San Diego, Point Loma University, and more.
2) What was your first coaching experience? What did you learn from that experience?
My first coaching experience was coaching Junior High Track and Field, where I coached a kid new to the sport to third place in the Junior Olympics. It was my first experience coaching Track and Field, and I really enjoyed it, making me realize a possible future in the sport.
3) What other schools/colleges have you coached at before your current position at Claremont High School? What are some of your proudest achievements by those teams?
I coached at South Hills High School, Glendora High, and Azusa Pacific University before I came to Claremont High School. My proudest accomplishment before coming to Claremont was when both boys and girls teams at South Hills won CIF on the same day, with individuals taking 1st in both races as well. (Only 3 times in California history)
4) When did you start at Claremont HS and what was the state of the program?
I started at Claremont High School four years ago as an Assistant Coach, and have been the head coach for two years now. The state of the program was very good when I arrived, with the girls going to state at my second year at Claremont.
5) Both your boys and girls teams finished in 4th place last year at the state meet in Division II. Both teams are now nationally ranked. Did last year's final place help motivate your runners heading into this season?
Yes, the finish motivated both the boys and girls teams to get on the podium this season because coming in fourth place is like kissing your sister/brother. It is a bitter-sweet result when you think of how close we came to being top 3 for both teams.
6) What are your expectations during the summer for your runners? How important is participation on the Track and Field team to the success of your Cross Country teams?
Practice is mandatory. Summer expectations are to practice 6 days a week for cross country, with limited time off from track. Track is very important to get a good aerobic threshold for cross country, and if you do not run Track, odds have it you will not have a strong Cross Country season.
7) What does a typical training week look like for your runners? Any morning runs? Typical and/or key workouts? What type of ancillary work and how often? How has your training plan changed since your early years as a coach? What else do you do that you feel is also important?
8) Who are or have been your coaching mentors that you have been able to bounce ideas during your coaching seasons?
Irv Ray (Coach at APU, Cal Baptist, UC Riverside, and the Olympic 1500m Team).
9) As a coach in the Southern Section, what do you feel are some of the things that California does right as far as XC and TF and what are some things that need to be changed or at the very least addressed?
I do not like going to Mt. Sac two weeks in a row for CIF and think every division should have their own CIF Prelims course. I don't like the fact that other states have multiple weeks between state and NXN. It hurts California having so little time between CIF/State and NXN, while other states have multiple weeks to get some good training time in.
10) From your experience, what are the biggest keys to having success in cross country as an athlete? What about as a coach?
Athletically speaking, running year-round is key. For a coach, having a mentor and going to clinics are crucial.
11) Some final quick hitters. Favorite XC course? Favorite XC invitational? Favorite XC workout? Favorite XC tradition (for teams you have coached)? The biggest reason you coach? Favorite free time activity? Favorite movie? Favorite book?
Favorite Course: Cool Breeze
Favorite Invite: Roy Griak or Clovis
Favorite Workout: Long run on the trails
Favorite Tradition: XC Camp
Biggest Reason to Coach: Third generation coach so it is in my blood
Favorite Activity: Laying on the couch watching football (San Diego Chargers)
Favorite Movie: White Men Can't Jump
Favorite Book: The Odyssey by Homer.