Sierra cross country coach Mike Rosendin has been named the Valley Oak League Model Coach of the Year for 2014-15.
Rosendin was Sierra’s first-ever cross country coach and has served that post for 16 years, stepping away just once for a four-year sabbatical. Along the way, he’s molded championship teams and trained state-caliber distance runners, including David Ulibarri, the Division III runner-up at the 1998 CIF State Championships.
“As impressive a resume as coach Rosendin can produce, the things that cannot be listed on paper are those that truly set him apart as an exemplary coach. Simply state, it is never about him,” Sierra High Athletic Director Anthony Chapman said in a statement.
“Coach Rosendin is the epitome of selflessness. He always sets the need of his athletes above his own. He exemplifies the characteristics that should be found in a coach.”
Rosendin’s calm approach to coaching has yielded outstanding results in cross country and track. Rosendin has been a part of 10 Sac-Joaquin Section championship teams – three with the cross country program and seven more as the distance coach for track – and 20 VOL championships with both programs.
He has helped send 13 runners to the CIF State Championships since launching the cross country program in 1994. The 1995 boys cross country team was inducted into the Sierra High School Hall of Fame last year for capturing the program’s sweeping the postseason’s major meets: the Valley Oak League championship, sub-sections and sections.
Despite its youth, Sierra finished 10th as a team at the CIF State Championships. Rosendin competed with one junior, two sophomores and two freshmen.
“To be the 10th-ranked team in the state is a dream come true,” Rosendin said. “I’m just real happy as a coach that I can be a part of this. It’s been a fun trip.”
In all, Rosendin has nearly 25 years of coaching experience, either as a head coach or an assistant.
His name will be forwarded to the Sac-Joaquin Section office for consideration for the section award, which will be selected in November.
“For anyone who knows him, he is not one to yell, scream or belittle,” Chapman said. “He is firm yet fair. Coach Rosendin is a gentle giant, a person of the highest moral character and ultimately someone who is what a model coach should be.”