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Jeff Gilkey stepping down as Valencia XC/track coach

Posted: June 8, 2014 10:25 p.m.
Updated: June 8, 2014 10:25 p.m.

Jeff Gilkey is stepping down as co-head coach of Valencia High School’s cross country and track and field programs, he confirmed last week.

Gilkey has been in charge of both programs since the spring of 2009.

He said the track and field team will be taken over by Darryl De La Vega, who was Gilkey’s co-head coach the last five years.

Kevin Berns, the school’s cross country co-head coach this past season, is set to take over as sole head of that program.

“After 17 years of coaching I’ve just decided that I feel like I need to spend a little more time with my family,” Gilkey said.

Prior to his time at Valencia, Gilkey also spent nine years as an assistant cross country coach at Hart High, one year as an assistant at Saugus High and a year coaching a high school program in Indiana.

During his six years coaching at Valencia, at least one athlete from the school advanced to the CIF State Track and Field Championships four times.

In 2009, his first year guiding the track and field team, Valencia’s Aly Drake won the state 800-meter crown.

This past fall, Valencia’s boys cross country team finished third place in the Foothill League to qualify for its first CIF postseason in the 20-year history of the program.

Gilkey will continue to teach English at Valencia and will likely be around both programs, he said, but he felt like he needed to take a step back from the day-to-day duties that come with the head coaching title.

“I’m not leaving the school,” Gilkey said. “I’m not mad at anybody or anything.”

Gilkey has two daughters, one of which will be a sophomore track and field athlete at Valencia next year.

“I don’t think I can give the time to my team and my family that everyone deserves basically,” he said.


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