CIF Honors 2016-17 Model Coach Award Winners

CIF Honors 2016-17 Model Coach Award Winners

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. – The CIF State office today announced the 2016-17 Model Coach Award winners. Now in its 16th year, the CIF Model Coach Award program is designed to recognize coaches who have served as positive role models in their schools and communities, and who have exhibited the traits apparent in the 16 principles of Pursuing Victory with Honorsm.

The 13 winners, nominated through their local CIF Section office, will receive an award and be honored at their sport’s State Championship or at an event of the recipient’s choosing.

A model coach demonstrates and teaches the six core ethical values: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship (the “Six Pillars of Character”). The CIF believes that the highest potential of sports is achieved when teachers/coaches consciously Teach, Enforce, Advocate and Model (T.E.A.M.) these values and are committed to the ideal of Pursuing Victory with Honorsm.

“There is more to education-based athletics than just winning and losing. We honor and recognize those coaches who teach student-athletes not only the skills needed to excel, but also those who are dedicated to teaching them the values of Pursuing Victory with Honorsm and the Six Pillars of Character," said CIF Executive Director Roger L. Blake.

2016-17 CIF Model Coach Award Winners

Jack Bowen - Menlo School, Atherton (CCS) - Water Polo

Steve Denman - Tehachapi H.S. (CS) - Football

Jelerine Venadas-Douglas - USC-MAE Magnet School, L.A. (LACS) - Cross Country

Pam Headley - Leland H.S., San Jose (CCS) - Tennis

Shane Kennedy - Tamalpais H.S., Mill Valley (NCS) - Soccer

Karyn Klatt - Sunnyside H.S., Fresno (CS) - Swimming

Catherine Mendes - Hilmar H.S. (SJS) - Volleyball/Track & Field

Jaime Ortiz - San Clemente H.S. (SS) - Football

Casey Rector - La Costa Canyon H.S., Carlsbad (SDS) - Lacrosse

Dave Spence - Vista H.S. (SDS) - Water Polo

Michael Spence - Providence Christian School, Orland (NS) - Cross Country/Track & Field

Dean Stark - Sacramento Waldorf School (SJS) - Basketball/Baseball

Bruce Thomson - San Pedro H.S. (LACS) - Cross Country/Track & Field


Jack Bowen (Menlo School) - Water Polo

In his 17 years at Menlo School, Bowen has served as a model coach and teacher who upholds the values of empowering students to be responsible, respectful and always strive to reach their fullest potential. He’s a true leader, exhibiting on a daily basis his exemplary work ethic and character. Bowen teaches his players the importance of balance: celebrating what they’ve achieved, while still understanding there’s always a bigger goal. For years, his team motto has been “Be Your Best,” as it is never about being the best team, but rather being the best you can be. His philosophy extends beyond the pool as he wants his student-athletes to be their best in all aspects of life. The attributes of his student-athletes are a direct reflection of how Bowen coaches and the expectations he sets forth for his team.


Steve Denman (Tehachapi High School) - Football

In his 34 years as Tehachapi High School Head Football Coach, Denman has been a role model for many student-athletes during his career. The key to his success is sharing his motto with his players to “be a decent human being.” He instils in his student-athletes to be responsible, disciplined and make the right choices. Denman leads by character and example. He has integrity and his actions are congruent with his principles. He is a bright light of honesty and integrity in a suspect world. He is a teacher, who teaches more than football. He teaches accountability, selflessness and more. Denman’s impact extends well beyond the gridiron as evidenced by the numerous men who have gone on to live productive lives, both personally and professionally.


Jelerine Venadas-Douglas (USC-MAE Magnet School) - Cross Country

Venadas-Douglas has been coaching cross country for many years and her focus for her teams has always been more about the process rather than the end result. Her teams always have fun in both practice and competition. Her coaching style and philosophy is “the team is for everybody.” Regardless of ability, being part of the team, making it a positive experience and improving are the main emphasis of her teams. Her efforts have never been about winning, but rather teaching. Additionally, Venadas-Douglas holds the rank of E7 and First Sergeant of her brigade as she has served in the military for the past 24 years and is also a reserve combat medic instructor.


Pam Headley (Leland High School) - Tennis

Headley has served as a teacher and coach at Leland High School for the past 12 years. Her strong sense of integrity sees beyond just winning, rather she teaches her student-athletes to conduct themselves with high character and advocates for sportsmanship. She has instilled in her student-athletes a valuable life lesson: when you apply high character, it yields excellence. Headley creates unity within her teams and ensures that top to bottom on the ladder, each student-athlete understands their role and makes them feel like they are important and needed.


Shane Kennedy (Tamalpais High School) - Soccer

Kennedy has been coaching at Tamalpais High School since 2008. He has the incredible ability to build passion amongst his players and treat every coach, player and official with the utmost respect. He demonstrates an unwavering ability to treat all student-athletes fairly regardless of seniority or ability as he truly cares about the well-being of his players. He nurtures their strengths and helps develop confidence, perseverance and passion. Kennedy’s coaching style extends beyond the pitch as he builds his student-athletes self-esteem and character so they can go out into the world to compete, contribute and give back to the community. Without his dedication, passion and ability to put the successes of others before his own, the Tamalpais soccer program would not be where it is today.


Karyn Klatt (Sunnyside High School) - Swimming

Klatt has been coaching swimming for 30 years and exemplifies everything that is right, good and wonderful about educators today. She is a teacher in the truest sense of the word. She teaches her student-athletes not only how to swim, but she consistently stresses and teaches them how to be good human beings and citizens. She provides her swimmers a place where they can come to feel valued and accomplished, and that they matter in this world. She has high expectations for her student-athletes, supporting them in the pool, classroom and community. She is inclusive of all who are interested in participating on her swim teams, supporting all team members from the most talented to the beginner. Additionally, she shares her knowledge generously with other coaches as they look to her for guidance and advice.


Catherine Mendes (Hilmar High School) - Volleyball/Track & Field

Mendes taught and coached at Hilmar High School for 40 years and emulates the many attributes a model coach must have. During her career, she paved the way at Hilmar for all female athletes, fought for them, taught them and demanded their best. She is thoughtful, dedicated and persistent and has exhibited these characteristics in all of her endeavors through the years. During her tenure, Mendes’ main focus was providing students and athletes opportunities and experiences that she herself was never able to experience as a student-athlete. In 2012 she was inducted into the first HHS Athletic Hall of Fame class for her role in developing the school’s girl’s athletic programs and her contributions to the school and community.


Jaime Ortiz (San Clemente High School) - Football

From the start of his career in education it was apparent that he was focused on the academic, social and emotional development of his student-athletes. He has never lost sight of his role and has developed an incredible football program that puts the student-athlete first. The football program, is a pillar in the San Clemente community which has embodied Ortiz’s phrase of “One Town – One Team.” His constant determination to create responsible and respectful citizens within his program is the reason he is a model coach.


Casey Rector (La Costa Canyon High School) - Lacrosse

Rector serves as a teacher and coach at La Costa Canyon High School. She leads by example and exceeds expectations as a teacher, mentor and coach. An exemplary coach, she demonstrates on a daily basis the virtues of Pursuing Victory with Honorsm. Rector’s enthusiasm is contagious and she is passionate about coaching, helping others succeed and teaching beyond just the game. She values the importance of a team concept on and off the field and her teams have character, poise and determination. She is a legend in the making, leading LCCHS student-athletes and helping to make them better on a daily basis.


Dave Spence (Vista High School) - Water Polo

Spence is a motivated teacher and coach at Vista High School. He is an outstanding role model with integrity demonstrating leadership, responsibility and accountability on a daily basis. He has created a culture of high expectations through his coaching and teaching at VHS, always relaying the message “Win or lose we do it with dignity.” A gracious, cooperative and highly motivated coach, Vista is lucky to have Spence on campus, as he is an educator willing to do what is right for kids each and every day.


Michael Spence (Providence Christian School) - Cross Country/Track & Field

Spence has taught and coached at Providence Christian School for 15 years and is a true example of dedication and commitment to education-based athletics. He is passionate about what he teaches and coaches instilling honor, character and hard work with his student-athletes. Spence’s motto is “Do hard things!” He has a great ability to encourage students to push themselves beyond what they think they can do and achieve, while helping them enjoy the work in reaching their goals. Demonstrating high moral standards and character to the students of PCS, Spence is the definition of a Model Coach.


Dean Stark (Sacramento Waldorf School) - Basketball/Baseball

Stark has been a dedicated and devoted coach and teacher at Sacramento Waldorf School for the past 30 years. Stark is a legend at SWS, his reputation and high standard of quality is well known throughout the school. He is a kind listener, yet advises with extremely high ethical standards of behavior and performance. He urges students to “set the bar high” for themselves in all that they do and instills respect by teaching student-athletes to act honorably at all times, on or off the court. He embodies the core values of what a Model Coach should be.


Bruce Thomson (San Pedro High School) - Cross Country/Track & Field

Thomson serves as cross country and track & field coach at San Pedro High School. He is a terrific role model, understanding the tremendous impact a coach can have on young people and he embraces the challenge. He ensures all his student-athletes feel import, placing emphasis on team effort and unity over individual accomplishments. Professionalism, Integrity and honesty are all traits becoming of Thomson as his impact, actions and example make him extremely deserving of the Model Coach Award. 

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