Legendary cross country & track coach Ken Reeves walking away a big winner
The longtime Mt. SAC Athletic Special Events supporter is one of California’s most successful coaches, winning 15 CIF state titles overall.
“I eventually changed the philosophy from trying to win championships, to having a championship performance at the end of the season regardless of when the season finished for a student-athlete,” he said. “You can’t control what other teams or individuals do, but you can control what your team does.
“There were times when we had championship performances but didn’t win a championship because other teams were better that day. It was just important to me that all athletes on our teams could have a championship experience.”
Reeves point is clear: You can’t always win, but you can always be a winner.
The renowned cross country and track & field coach at Nordhoff, Ventura and Foothill Tech high schools was adept at churning out team championships and winning athletes in a high school career in Ventura County that began in 1981.
After guiding his squads to 18 CIF-Southern Section championships and 15 state titles — the most recent for the Foothill Tech boys in Division 4 in 2019 — Reeves now calls it a career.
A raging pandemic that has prompted the Ventura Unified School District to trim temporary teaching jobs led Reeves, at age 70, to step down.
Reeves said his decision was made “pragmatically.”
“I would have liked to be around to help with the students and student-athletes throughout the pandemic, but there were other needs,” he said. “The pandemic changed the needs of everyone.”
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