In a file cabinet in the shared office of track and field and cross country head coach Rick Anderson and head golf instructor Raye Maero, there are four California Community College Coach of the Year awards.
Three of them are for cross country, and one is for track and field. They are all awarded to Anderson.
And on two separate walls of the shared office, there are dozens of team awards for both of Anderson’s programs. All of them have been earned in his tenure as head coach.
Anderson doesn’t want accolades or awards or attention. He just wants fast teams. And with a consistency that no other athletic program at ARC can match, he’s routinely built them.
“We have a tryout at ARC, so everybody that makes our team has the potential to score points at a conference championship. I’d like to say we keep nice guys that aren’t very talented, but this is an intercollegiate track team and we’re kind of limited in our numbers,” said Anderson.
Anderson first came to ARC as a student athlete after graduating from Cordova High School in 1982. He competed in one season each of cross country and track and field.
But instead of continuing into his second year of eligibility, Anderson enlisted for the Navy, where he spent the next six years.
And after his time in the Navy, he came back to ARC, and spent two full semesters working on his academics before finally using his second year of eligibility as a member of the track and field team.
In that season, he was voted captain of the team, and was named “Pepsi Scholar Athlete of the Year,” the top academic award that can be given to a CCC student-athlete.
After finishing a kinesiology degree at California State University, Sacramento, Anderson was an assistant coach at three high schools in Sacramento before being hired as the head coach of the cross country team at ARC in 1996, and an assistant track and field coach.
Several athletes have stood out for Anderson’s squad this year, and he knows them all off the top of his head.
“Will Reyes broke a 30 year old school record in the 5000, which is 3.1 miles, he ran that in 14.27. We’ve got the number one and number two 800 meter runners in the state, Logan Stahl and David French. Our steeplechase is number two in the state, Chris Kigar, and then Robert Ellis has been real strong in the 100 and the 200. He’s inthe top five all-time here now in both of those events. We have a lot of depth in a lot of events.”
The men’s track and field team under Anderson has won the Northern California championships three years in a row, and the cross country program has won three state titles in a row.
Anderson attributes this success to the strength of his coaching staff and the recruiting classes the program brings in.
“Being able to recruit really good athletes because of our really good coaching staff … just being able to tell those guys and sell those guys that they’re going to get a lot out of this program and be able to transfer on someplace else has been tremendously valuable,” said Anderson.
Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams will be competing in the Norcal Trials at De Anza College in Cupertino May 10. State championships begin May 16 at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.