A new head coach has been hired for the Lancer track and field team to replace Armand Crespo, who was terminated last year following an alleged altercation with a student.
Robert “Bobby” Godinez, who was an adjunct instructor in the athletics division last semester, was selected to be the new interim coach for the spring 2016 season.
With less than a month before their first meet, track and field student athletes can breathe a sigh of relief with the return of a head coach. Administrators were also feeling the pressure to hire someone before the season began.
“In order to serve students and make sure that our program was moving forward, we met the administration, chose a time frame and did our interview process,” said Athletic Director Tony Barbone. “And Coach Godinez came out as selectee.”
Although Godinez has never coached a collegiate track and field team, he has an extensive sports background and a history of coaching athletes at all levels of competition, he said.
“I’ve had experience in the past,” said Godinez. “Maybe not as extensively as what you would hope, but what I’m stressing is that I’m a leader and I want [students] to see that I’m here to make sure that they’re going in the right direction in the things they need to be doing.”
Godinez is no stranger to coming in at the start of a season.
“I’ve actually had some experience taking over programs late like this,” said Godinez
Godinez was named head coach of Victor Valley College men’s basketball team mere weeks before the start of their 2013 season. While there he completed two successful seasons and lead the team to the 2015 Southern California Regional Playoffs.
Godinez believes it is his extensive experience in sports that made him the right candidate to take over the program.
“I voiced my interest in the program once the job opened and I was lucky enough to be chosen,” said Godinez.
With only a couple of weeks to prepare the track and field athletes for their first competition of the season, Godinez has said he wants to “hit the floor sprinting” when it comes to training the track and field team.
Marina Flores, a distance athlete who is running unattached this season, said she’s glad that the track and field athletes have a new head coach after having to train on their own these past few months.
“He seems positive,” said Flores. “He has a lot of experience and he’s determined to push us. That’s what I think about him. He’s determined.”
Godinez attended San Jose State University where he was an Academic All-American. Godinez graduated with an undergrad in sociology and a master’s degree in kinesiology. After university, Godinez went on to play with the Washington Redskins for one year, which ended due to an injury.
After his career with football ended, Godinez opened two training facilities in the San Gabriel Valley and the Inland Empire. From 2007 to 2010, Godinez worked with high school, college and professional athletes to improve their speed and flexibility.
Godinez also served as the football team’s defensive backs coach back in 2009.
The South Coast Conference Opener will take place Feb.5 at Mt. San Antonio.