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Cal Poly Coach Interviews

Steve Desimone: Pac-12 Coach of the Year

Desimone recently was named Pac-12 men’s golf coach of the year.

by Trent Merfeld

Below is my recent interview with Cal Berkeley mens’ golf coach Steve Desimone. Desimone received his undergraduate at Cal before attending the service for two years and then coming back to Cal for his master’s degree in physical education and ultimately finishing his student education in 1976. In his 33rd season at Cal, he had plenty to share.

The soundbite also includes my secondary interviews with sophomore star Brandon Hagy, who spoke on what it is like to play under Desimone. Also, I interviewed Bill Manning, the man who hired Desimone over three decades ago when the golf program at Cal was in a delicate period of being dropped as a Division 1 sport. While only a club, Desimone led Cal golf into the national spotlight where it is today. After a 2004 National Championship and many other accomplishments including recently being named the Pac-12 coach of the year, Desimone sat down to talk with me.

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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Profiles

 

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Paul Holocher: ‘Labor of Love’

Soccer is everything to Holocher. When he is not coaching the Mustangs, he is talking about, reading or watching the sport.

by Trent Merfeld

In the seven-year period before he came to Cal Poly, Paul Holocher served as the head soccer coach at UC Santa Cruz, Director of Soccer for Santa Cruz and its 5,000 youth players, and founded the Catalyst Soccer Club. He did all of this while also teaching physical education at the private school Aptos Academy.

“It was a labor of love, because it was four part-time jobs that all were interconnected to each other around the game of soccer. That’s kind of how I piecemealed my livelihood together,” Holocher said.

Holocher grew up in the soccer-oriented environment of Seattle, Washington. His father was a former goalkeeper, and his mother grew up around soccer as well. He said soccer was a big part of his childhood and his father would take him and his brother to every Seattle Sounders game, the MLS club in Seattle. Holocher said he regularly attended Sounders’ games, and he didn’t think he missed one home game.

[Seattle] has an amazing soccer culture. Every kid up in Seattle plays soccer. You start when you’re seven years old, and there’s a lot of passion around it,” Holocher said. “I remember the very first game I ever played, I was playing on a little team called the King Fishers. I remember picking up the ball and being able to dribble and do good things. I scored a couple goals and after the game I got a lot of compliments from the team and the parents, and I realized that I loved the game,” Holocher said.

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Posted by on May 2, 2012 in Profiles

 

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Larry Lee: In His Family’s Footsteps

Lee said "I've known the path I've been on since junior high."

by Trent Merfeld

For over the past 25 years, Larry Lee has been following in the footsteps of his father and brothers.

“I usually drive past the [football memorial] every night going home and I give it a special moment each night. I think about those guys, and how my dad was supposed to be on that plane flight, but his schedule got changed. It holds a special place in my heart,” Lee said.

Born in 1917, Lee’s father, Tom Lee is both an accomplished athlete and coach. Tom Lee boxed golden gloves, played minor league baseball, traveled on an All-American basketball team, and was on a semi-pro team with a few negro league stars. Tom Lee also notably coached baseball, basketball, football, and boxing at Cal Poly.

Lee said, “He did it all, and everything my brothers and I did was based on what he was all about.”

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Posted by on April 25, 2012 in Profiles, Uncategorized

 

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Joe Callero: ‘I Coach People, Not Basketball’

Callero in his office.

by Trent Merfeld

At one point in his life, Joe Callero worked as a carpenter in the morning, assistant coach in the afternoon, and attended Seattle University’s masters program in the evening.

He did all he could to coach basketball, and more importantly to coach people.

“My first job was coaching summer league for Foster High School’s junior varsity team, and my payment was a hamburger and a beer after the game by the varsity coach,” Callero said.

Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Central Washington, and then a master’s in counseling from Seattle University, Callero used his education to better his coaching.

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Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Profiles

 

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