Tony Sandoval Named Director of Cal Track & Field and Cross Country
May 28, 2008
BERKELEY - Tony Sandoval, a fixture on the University of California staff for more than a quarter century, has been named director of track & field and cross country for the Golden Bears, Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour announced Wednesday.
Sandoval, who will oversee both the men's and women's teams, served as interim track & field director this past year after 15 seasons as an assistant with the combined men's and women's program and 10 years as head women's coach. He has been Cal's men's and women's cross country coach since 1992.
'I am thrilled that Tony has accepted our offer to become director of our track & field and cross country programs at Cal on a permanent basis,' Barbour said. 'Over the course of the last year, he and his staff have done an outstanding job of re-establishing a strong base of athletic performance, team cohesion and student development, while having great recruiting success despite the interim tag. Tony has earned the opportunity to lead our program, and I have the utmost confidence that the program and our student-athletes will thrive under his leadership.'
Under Sandoval's guidance, a record 38 Bears have qualified to compete at the NCAA West Regional meet this weekend at Cal State Northridge. Cal athletes also won three titles at the Pac-10 championships earlier this month with Alysia Johnson and Ed Wright defending their 2007 crowns in the 800 meters and high jump, respectively, and Kimyon Broom capturing the women's 100-meter hurdles. The men's team placed fourth and the women's squad tied for sixth, both significant improvements from last year when the men were ninth and the women eighth.
At the MPSF indoor meet in early March, Golden Bears won four individual conference titles, with the men's team finishing second and the women's squad fourth. During the fall cross country season, the Cal men earned their first-ever berth in the NCAA championships, where they finished 16th in the country.
'I am humbled that I can continue to coach at a school that has such a great history in track & field,' said Sandoval. 'I want to build upon the past, knowing the tremendous athletes and coaches that preceded me at Cal. It's an honor, and I am going to work diligently to continue that tradition. I am excited to be part of the direction that Cal Athletics is headed under Sandy's leadership. I also feel great for the staff because they worked hard and were committed to make the program go. The athletes have also done a fantastic job to be all that they can be.'
Sandoval's staff includes associate head coach Ed Miller (field/multi-events), recruiting coordinator Mike Gipson (sprints, hurdles, relays), assistant Magdalena Lewy (middle distance, distance), director of operations John Rembao (jumps, heptathlon) and assistant Scott Slover (pole vault). Chris Coffee, Kevin Davis, Jonas Hallgrimsson and Travis Nutter all served as volunteer assistant coaches this past year.
A specialist in coaching distance events 800 meters and above, Sandoval has seen two of his pupils break long-standing records over the past couple of seasons. Johnson won the NCAA indoor and outdoor crowns in the 800 meters in 2007 before claiming the two-lap race at USA nationals to earn a spot on the U.S. team at the World Championships. Her time of 1:58.29 at NCAA outdoors snapped a Cal mark that stood for 23 years. David Torrence also broke a 50-year-old record in the mile in '07 (3:58.62), then became the first Cal runner to crack the four-minute barrier twice when he clocked 3:59.10 this past April.
As head women's track & field coach prior to the merger of the men's and women's teams, Sandoval directed the Bears to three top-20 finished from 1987-90, in addition to a fourth-place standing at the 1990 NCAA indoor meet.
Other athletes Sandoval has coached at Cal include 2000 Olympian and All-American Bolota Asmerom; six-time All-American Richie Boulet; three-time middle distance All-American and 800m national champion Louise Romo; Kirsten O'Hara, an All-American in cross country, 5000m and 10,000m; Elissa Riedy a two-time All-American in the 1500m and once in cross country; Laura Baker, an All-American in the 800m; Sally Wood, All-American in the 5000m and Sabrina Han, All-American in the 10,000m. Magdalena Lewy, who ran under Sandoval in the mid-1990s and has returned to her alma mater as an assistant coach, recently qualified for the 2008 U.S. Olympic team in the marathon and will compete in Beijing later this summer.
Sandoval began his coaching career a year out of college by developing the Duke City Dashers track club in Albuquerque, N.M. DCD became a 'super club' with numerous national level and record-breaking boys and girls age-group athletes in cross country and track & field. In 1972, three DCD athletes coached by Sandoval were Olympic Trials finalists. Under Sandoval, Lynn Bjorklund was DCD's most accomplished runner, winning three AAU cross country championships and two AAU two-mile championships. Bjorklund was world ranked in the two mile/3000 meters in 1974 and 1975 and remains the national high school record holder for the 3000.
Sandoval moved to the collegiate ranks with New Mexico's women's team in 1975, serving as an assistant before taking over the head coaching duties. His UNM squad finished as high as ninth nationally. He also developed 10 All-Americans, including long distance and cross country runner Karen Crammond, middle distance runners Regina Draminga of Uganda and Tecla Chemabawi of Kenya, and 1979 800m national champion Susan Vigil (a former DCD runner) during his eight years with the Lobos.
Sandoval served as the head coach for the 1995 U.S. Junior Pan American women's team, which competed in Santiago, Chile. He also was an assistant for the U.S. team at the 1991 Pan American Games in Cuba. Formerly the long distance coordinator for women for the Olympic Development subcommittee of the AAU, Sandoval has had four U.S. national team assignments, including the head coaching position for a U.S. junior team that competed in Cuba and Canada in 1987. In addition, he was the head coach for United States at the World Cross Country Championships in Glasgow, Scotland (1978), and Madrid, Spain (1981).
A 1968 graduate of New Mexico, Sandoval was a three-year letterwinner in cross country and track and field for a Lobo team that won two Western Athletic Conference titles in cross country and three conference championships in track & field. Sandoval competed in the mile, two mile and steeplechase events, and was an all-time top 10 performer in both the mile and two mile.
Sandoval attended Albuquerque High School in New Mexico and won the 1962 state cross country title and captured the 1963 state 880-yard championship.
Sandoval received a double master's degree from UNM in exercise physiology and guidance and counseling in 1974. He taught in the Physical Education department at UNM while working on a Ph.D. in sports psychology. Sandoval and his wife, Barbara, reside in Pleasant Hill with their daughters, Lisa and Marcy. Lisa is a Cal graduate and a former Cal track athlete, while Marcy currently attends Diablo Valley College.