The California Coaches’ Association announced Friday two honors for a pair of Aragon coaches. Bill Daskarolis, Aragon’s longtime track and field coach, is being awarded the Dan Fukushima Lifetime Achievement Award, while Guy Oling is being recognized as the 2014 Boys’ Golf Coach of the Year.
“It’s pretty amazing,” said Aragon athletic director Steve Sell. “It’s really nice when good people get recognized.”
“How fabulous is that?” said Oling. “Two coaches at Aragon (being honored)?”
The California Coaches’ Association has been honoring California coaches for 57 years. Daskarolis, Oling and 17 other coaches will honored during a ceremony and dinner in Sacramento June 4.
Daskarolis has served as the Dons’ track coach for the last 50 years. A former teacher and athletic director at Aragon, Daskarolis retired from teaching in 1997, but has continued to coach both the cross country and track teams. He was enshrined in the initial Aragon Hall of Fame in 2008 and is a local coaching legend.
“To have your peers honor you for something you really enjoy doing, it’s pretty neat,” Daskarolis said. “I’m not real crazy about these things. There may be more deserving (people), but they’re no longer in the ball park (have passed away).”
To qualify for the award, a coach must still be actively coaching and have put in a minimum of 30 years. Daskarolis meets both requirements.
“I taught [at Aragon] for 34, was AD for 24,” said Daskarolis, who will turn 76 next month. “It’s been a lot of fun. The key was working in the (athletic) department, which was so wonderful to be around. It turned out to be great. It was just fun.”
Oling started coaching at Aragon in the late 1990s — as far as he can remember. He readily admits he’s not a big fan of numbers and statistics. But the honor of being the Golf Coach of the Year was not lost on him.
“I’m very humbled by this. Humbled and appreciative of this award,” Oling said. “I understand the magnitude of the award.
“It’s awesome. I’ve enjoyed coaching golf all these years. I’ve been fortunate to coach numerous sports and I think I’ve found a good niche.”
Oling also has a long relationship with Daskarolis. As a runner at Hillsdale, Oling competed against Daskarolis’ Aragon teams and was also hired at Aragon by Daskarolis.
Sell succeeded Daskarolis as Aragon’s athletic director and has been a colleague of both him and Oling for nearly 20 years. As the school’s third-ever football coach, Sell understands the mentality that keeps both men involved with the school and high school athletics.
“Coaching gets in your blood. It’s not just what we do, it’s who we are. I just don’t know how you walk away from it. As you get older, I think you start to appreciate the kids more,” Sell said. “It’s in our DNA. To not do it, I think we would all feel rudderless.”
Daskarolis and Oling become just the 17th and 18th coaches from the Peninsula to be recognized by the CCA, and the third from Aragon. Former boys’ basketball coach Kari Huxford was named Rookie Coach of the Year in 2003. Other area coaches who have been honored are: Bob Brian (1988, South City, Baseball Coach of the Year), Don Dooley (1990, San Mateo, track and field), Roberta Alpers (1991, Burlingame, girls’ tennis), Glenn Kovas (1992, Carlmont, boys’ water polo), Mike Ciardella (1994, Sacred Heart Prep, girls’ basketball), Keith Strange (1995, Serra, boys’ swimming), Jim Liggett (1996, Carlmont, softball), Ed Parker (1996, Mills, girls’ golf), Naomi Patridge (1997, Half Moon Bay, softball), Bill Shine (2000 and 2008, Menlo School, girls’ and boys’ tennis), Pam Wimberly (2001, Menlo-Atherton, girls’ basketball), Ann Stlutka (2002, South City, girls’ volleyball) and Joe Hession (2007, Serra, boys’ golf).
Daskarolis joins Terry Stogner as the only other Peninsula coach to be honored with the Dan Fukushima Lifetime Achieve Award. Stogner, the former longtime Carlmont boys’ basketball coach and athletic director and now the Peninsula Athletic League commissioner, was honored in 2011.
“I’ll be 76 next month. When I see that on a piece of paper I say, ‘Am I that old?,” Daskarolis said. “But when you’re dealing with young kids all the time, it keeps you feeling young.”