Just days after announcing his retirement as head coach of the Allan Hancock College track and field program, Louie Quintana's peers voted him the 2019 Western State Conference Coach of the Year on Tuesday. He admitted he was surprised and honored to be recognized by other coaches, many of whom he had coached against for years.
"It's great to be commended for doing a good job at something that you love, as well as to know that other coaches see the hard work I've put into the sport," said Quintana, who was also voted WSC Coach of the Year in 2005. "I've been coaching at the community college level for 19 years and this award feels like the perfect way to be honored during my final season."
During his time at the helm of Hancock's track and cross country programs, Quintana guided many student-athletes to individual conference championships, as well as appearances at regional and state championships. Under Quintana, Bobbie Patton won Western State Conference women's shot put titles in 2004 and 2005, and a state shot put title in 2005. Between 2014 and 2018, at least one Bulldog won an individual conference title every year, including multiple conference champions in 2014 and 2016.
Patton, Brent Dionisio, Taylor Nevitt, Hailey Batty, Jonathon General, Chelsea Cassulo, and Kenna Wolter are among the dozens of student-athletes who earned scholarships to four-year universities after competing for Quintana.
"I've enjoyed my time mentoring the student-athletes and have made countless friendships with fellow coaches over the years," said Quintana when announcing his retirement. "I'm ready to sit back and relax, spend more time with family and grandchildren, and do a little traveling. I may even become a certified track and field official."
Wolter, Quintana's assistant coach this past spring, will take over as interim head coach of Hancock's track and field program, pending approval next month by the Allan Hancock College Board of Trustees.
Quintana will remain head coach of Hancock's women's cross country program.