Top of the Hill

Top of the Hill

Ron Kamaka has been the Men’s Track and Field head coach since 2013, having been with the Mountie program since 2006. He had been a full-time professor and associate coach for the track and field/cross country teams for seven years.

He was named the California Community College Cross Country and Track Coaches Association’s Track and Field Coach of the Year in 2016. It was the second time he earned the honor after winning it in 2015 as well. This year, the team is halfway through the season and looking to do great things once again. 

“I think on the men’s side, our strength is definitely our diversity, and in some events we have really awesome depth, so I’m really encouraged by our men’s program in that area,” Kamaka said. “I’m happy with what our team looks like.”

As for the women’s team, Kamaka points out that they are doing stellar in the 400 meter dash so far this season.

“On the women’s side, we’re doing extremely well in that event,” he said. “The men not as well, but on the women’s side, very, very well.”

Kamaka remains positive about what the future holds for the track and field squad. He said he believes that they are once again poised to do well in state competitions.

“Any time we give our team an opportunity to get better is always something we all look forward to as a staff,” said Kamaka. “So each week that we get an opportunity to go to a meet —  take a healthy team there —  and let them challenge themselves to get better and compete against different competition is always a great opportunity for us.”

Though Kamaka could not identify specific areas where the team needs work, he does still see some room for improvement in general.

“I think a common theme for us is to get our players to play relaxed, confident, and allow all of their hard work and training to come out in their performances and so that’s our big goal at this stage of the game,” he said.

Kamaka said he enjoys the opportunity to work with developing athletes and knowing that the work they do now will have lasting effects.

“My favorite is working with my student athletes at the ground level where the rubber meets the road, but I also care about the sport and where we go,” he said.

Kamaka developed his philosophy and techniques by drawing from his previous years of coaching experience both competing and coaching. He was inducted as a competitor into the Santa Rosa Community College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000 as well as the Rancho Cotate High School Hall of Fame in 2010, and coached track and field for 12 years at Cal State Fullerton.

“I think that my entire career has been an absolute learning process,” Kamaka said. “Every season I take what I’ve learned in the past and apply it to the current year, and along the way I’ve learned different things about my coaching style … I’ve long said the day I stop desiring to learn will be the day I ought to stop trying to teach.”