Despite the lack of sports right now, there is no lack of dedication to sports. Professional organizations are looking at new ways to maintain a forward motion on their seasons every day, and once the green light is given for them, along with college, high school and youth sports programs out there, everyone knows this downtime during the coronavirus pandemic will have been worth the wait.
While sports fans know sports at any level should be about the athletes, the youth and high school player will likely look back on their four years and remember it as the time of their lives. But the coaches are the ones trying to keep calm and encourage their athletes to stay focused on honing their craft. Through consistent success and longevity, some coaches become the face of high school sports programs or even the school itself. It is not unusual for coaches to spend 40 years at one school, leading multiple generations of athletes in a community.
Recently, Kevin Askeland of MaxPreps.com set out to identify 100 of the top high school coaches in the country, men and women who have won multiple state and national championships, set records and worked to perfect their craft over decades. One coach was named from the Temecula Valley, Great Oak High School’s Doug Soles, head track and field and cross-country coach for the Wolfpack. Soles has led his programs to numerous titles and was already named the girls’ cross-country coach of the decade by MaxPreps.
“Our kids have worked very hard and we were about to have an amazing track season, so any good news is definitely welcome,” Soles said. “It is always an honor to be one of the top coaches in the country in someone’s eyes as there are so many amazing coaches out there in all the sports. Truly a great recognition for our program.”
As it stands, here is a running count of what the Great Oak programs have accomplished under Soles.
Boys’ teams: XC League Titles – 9; XC CIF SS Titles – 5; XC CIF State Titles – 6; XC National Titles – 1; Track Indoor/Winter State Titles – 7; Track League Titles – 5; Track CIF SS Titles – 3; Track CIF State Titles – 0 (2 Runner ups, track and field is a very sprint specific sport, and Great Oak runners are more distance-based.
Girls’ teams: XC League Titles – 13; XC CIF SS Titles – 10; XC CIF State Titles – 8; XC National Titles – 0 (1 runner-up); Track Indoor/Winter State Titles – 5; Track League Titles – 7; Track CIF SS Titles – 2; Track CIF State Titles – 0.
All events combined: League Titles – 34; CIF SS Titles – 20; CIF State Titles – 14; Winter/Indoor Track Titles – 12; NXN National Titles – 1.
Breakdown by the year:
League Championships: DeAnza League Champions 2005; Southwestern League Champions 2009-2019
CIF-SS Championships: D1 Champions 2009-2010, 2012-2019
CIF State Championships: D1 Champions 2010, 2012-2018
Girls’ Track and Field:
Winter/Indoor State Championships 2016-2019
League Championships: DeAnza League Champions 2005, 2006; Southwestern League Champions 2011, 2015-2018
CIF-SS Championships: D1 Champions 2016, 2018
League Championships: Southwestern League Champions 2011, 2013-2019
CIF-SS Championships: D1 Champions 2015-2019
CIF State Championships: D1 Champions 2014-2019
NXN National Championships: 2015 Boys’ National Champions
Boys’ Track and Field:
Winter/Indoor State Championships 2014-2020
League Championships: Southwestern League Champions 2014, 2016-2019
CIF SS Championships: D1 Champions 2014, 2016, 2018
JP Raineri can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.