As a leader at Bella Vista, the most important thing for me to do is to make a positive impact in the lives of my athletes. Sports do not build social and moral character; that is what I do as a coach. In order to do this, it is imperative that I put together a plan in which I create a safe environment for my athletes where I help each of them show growth in sport, and to show growth in life outside of sport. This growth needs to be measurable and attainable by each of my athletes. Wins and losses will come and go, but the lessons learned by my athletes will last a lifetime. I use a system of positive reinforcement to develop impactful and lasting relationships with each of my athletes, and I never forget that my athletes are students first. I am lucky enough to be a teacher at Bella Vista, which means I am in a unique position where I get to be involved in the lives of each of my athletes so I can make positive connections with every single one of them. In order to build motivation within each of my athletes, I develop their autonomous, intrinsic motivation. I also teach the mental side of sport where I use a mental rehearsal and develop routines with each of my athletes to prepare them for competition and to help them find their optimal performance levels. I create a physically demanding practice environment where I teach and develop grit and resiliency skills within each of my athletes. Clear, specific, and positive communication with my athletes is the cornerstone of my leadership philosophy.
I am passionate about the sport of wrestling and I stay up to date with the best techniques, strategies, and workouts to keep my wrestlers excited about the sport. I strive to get my wrestlers to become task-oriented instead of ego-oriented. If I can get my wrestlers to focus on their own process they will be able to perform to the best of their ability, regardless if they are at practice, competition, or in a “pressure” situation. The coaches in my wrestling program all value positive leadership where we are trying to instill morals, work ethic, grit, resilience, gratitude, and commitment to excellence in each of our athletes. I believe in not only saying these things but also modeling my values through my actions. Team cohesion is crucial to our environment, which means that we work together to achieve our team and individual goals.
Throughout my life, I’ve had countless leaders through sport, education, and family. My leadership philosophy is a direct result of the lessons I’ve learned from what to do, and what not to do, from the good and bad leaders I’ve had in my life. In addition to that, I am continually working to improve upon my ability to be a positive leader through education, experiences, and honest feedback from the people I am leading. My overall goal is to get my athletes to identify their values and live in accordance to those values; to have my athletes focus on their own process; and to get my athletes to define success by remaining persistent in their quest to achieve their goals despite plateaus, adversity, or setbacks.
I am married to the most amazing person in the world, Shelby Lane. We have been married since 2010 and we have 2 daughters together: Lucy (9) and Charlotte (7). My family is the most important thing in the world to me.
I am currently in my 14th year as a social science teacher in the San Juan Unified School District. For my first 3 years I taught at Del Campo, then I was pink slipped and became a substitute teacher for a short time, and then I ended up getting hired at Encina high school for the remainder of my 4th year in the district. During those 4 years I was the head wrestling coach at Del Campo. Starting in my 5th year I became a teacher and assistant wrestling coach at Bella Vista. This is my 10th year as a teacher and coach at Bella Vista.
I’m grateful that I got to coach alongside Mike Lee for 6 seasons and I learned a lot of from him. In fact, Coach Lee is still a social science teacher on campus and he always gives me advice when needed. Mike Lee LOVES Bella Vista wrestling (and BV in general) and he still deeply cares about the program. Just for some history, Charlie Lee (no relation) was the most decorated wrestling coach in Bella Vista's history. Charlie coached many state champions, state medalists, national champions, and more. Although we lost Charlie, his wife, Ralphene Lee, is still the #1 fan of Bella Vista wrestling and attends every single dual meet and almost every single tournament. Ralphene runs the BV Wrestling Facebook page and I usually chat with her about wrestling once a week.
Back to me... I started wrestling at the age of 5 for the Bella Vista Bronco wrestling Club. I continued wrestling until I competed for Sierra College and I was a California state medalist in high school when I wrestled for Del Campo. I absolutely love the sport of wrestling and follow the high school, college, and international levels of competition very closely. I also played football and rugby in high school and played rugby in college for California State University Sacramento where I graduated with a degree in history. I received my teaching credential through Sacramento State where I was a student teacher at McClatchy high school. I completed my Masters degree in Sports Psychology/Positive Coaching from the University of Missouri. Go Tigers!
Outside of teaching and coaching, I love spending time with my family, spending time outdoors, backpacking, camping, hiking, playing disc golf, cooking, reading, gardening, music, traveling, fishing, learning, relaxing, exercising, sports, laughing, literature, chess, art, and more.