CIF honors Ramona’s Steve Albanese as Coach of the Year
By Joe Naiman
When the CIF San Diego Section honored its 2010-11 Coach of the Year recipients at the beginning of its Oct. 25 Board of Managers meeting, Ramona High School boys cross country coach Steve Albanese’s name was called.
“It’s a great honor, and it’s all because of the athletes,” said Albanese, who was not at the meeting. “They’re the ones who put in the work, and they’re the ones who deserve the most recognition.”
In 2010 Ramona High’s boys team won the CIF San Diego Section’s Division II cross country championship and had the top three finishers in the Division II race. The Bulldogs finished seventh among the 23 Division II teams in last year’s state meet.
“I teach character,” Albanese said.
Albanese noted that character includes characteristics. “The first one that we talk about every year is hard work,” he said.
“I try to live by those characteristics,” Albanese said. “My athletes try to do the same thing.”
Albanese began his Ramona High School cross-country coaching career in 2009.
“It’s produced a program of success,” he said of his teachings.
Albanese ran at McHenry High School in McHenry, Ill., before competing collegiately at North Central College in Naperville, Ill. His college career included an NCAA Division III runner-up team finish.
He began his teaching and coaching career with a year at McHenry High School before moving to Vista and serving as the Vista High School boys cross country assistant coach for a year.
Albanese is also the assistant coach for distance runners with Ramona’s track and field program.
The coach of the year award is the first for a Ramona coach since Connie Halfaker was honored in October 2007 for the Fall 2006 girls volleyball season. The coaches are selected for the honor by the sports’ other coaches.
The CIF sanctions 28 sports when boys and girls programs are counted separately. Two sports, badminton and roller hockey, are played by only one conference, but the CIF recognized coaches from the other 26 sports.
A change in CIF San Diego Section staff resulted in Albanese and several other coaches not being notified of their recognition. Commissioner Dennis Ackerman retired Oct. 3, leaving Carlton Hoggard as the only staff member who had been with the CIF staff when the 2009-10 awards were presented in October 2010. Hoggard was on vacation the week before the Board of Managers meeting. Each coach of the year also receives a CIF San Diego Section watch.
- Steve Albanese takes over as Bulldogs’ cross country coach
- Baldwin selects Albanese as Ramona High’s new track coach
- Albanese not worried about boys’ loss to Poway
- Kim Toth takes over as Bulldogs’ girls cross country coach
- Ramona High has new track coach
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