The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

EC sports becoming a family affair

Being a coach can be a difficult but rewarding job. You are responsible for bringing out the best in people while motivating them to achieve what they might not believe possible.

This responsibility becomes even more challenging when one of the young people you are coaching is your own son or daughter.

EC is unique in having not one, but two coaches who have the fulfilling opportunity to coach their kids.

Gene Engle is the co-offensive coordinator of the football team as well as a health and fitness instructor; his son, Matt, is also the quarterback of the football team.

Corey Stanbury is the water polo and swimming coach, and this year his daughter, Ashley, is playing for him on the water polo team.

Both coaches agree working with their children has been a great experience.

They said it has not been difficult separating the role of parent from coach, because both students are serious about their sport and don’t look for special treatment.

Gene Engle, an EC alumnus, played football here as an offensive lineman, then for Stanford University. He briefly played with the San Francisco 49ers, then returned to Stanford to get his master’s degree. He coached at Stanford for two years before coming back to EC, where he has coached 22 years.

Matt Engle was EC ballboy

Since he was a child, EC football has been part of Matt Engle’s life.

“He has been a ball boy here since he was little,” Gene Engle said. “Coming to the games, running the ball in and out – he did that until he was a junior in high school.”

It was only natural that he joined the Warrior squad, even though his dad made it a point to let Matt make his own choices about sports.

“Although he was very athletic and excelled at many sports, football was something he always wanted to do,” Gene Engle said.

Matt and Gene have managed to find a balance.

“Matt is very responsible and genuinely wants to be here, so I don’t have any problems with him,” the senior Engle said.

It can get a little tricky when Gene references his home life,

“I have to be conscious of telling personal stories about my family, because I know that could be embarrassing,” said Engle.

Matt gets good-natured ribbing from teammates, but nothing malicious.

The guys on the team respect Matt and look beyond the fact that his father is one of the coaches.

“I think it would be different if he wasn’t very good,” Gene said of Matt, who was very successful in high school and also named South Coast Conference MVP.

“But his talent supercedes the fact that I am his father,” Gene added.

Stanburys share love of water

Unlike Gene Engle, who coached Matt prior to his arrival at EC, coaching his daughter is a new experience for Corey Stanbury.

“I have always kept her in aquatic type of activities, but I have also let her explore her own interests, such as playing softball and soccer and participating on the high school surfing team,” Stanbury said.

Keeping Ashley in different activities was important to Stanbury.

“I wanted to keep her active, not sitting and watching TV,” said Stanbury, a swimmer and water polo player in high school and college.

Ashley was introduced to water sports early in life, because that was

her father’s career.

“My children have been around pools from a very young age,” Stanbury said.

But when it came time to teach them how to swim, he handed them over to someone else.

Change in roles easy to make

Now that Ashley is a student at EC and a member of the water polo team, both dad and daughter have changed their roles, a transition that has not been difficult.

“I think she’s OK as long as I treat her like everyone else, and I don’t call her ‘honey,’ ” Stanbury said, laughing.

Ashley said she also knows how to keep their roles clear.

“I’m his daughter during lunch when I need money, but that does not carry over to the team,” Ashley said.

Ashley’s dedication to the team has made it easier for her father as her coach-she is like her other teammates, coming to practice with enthusiasm and training hard.

“I think I coach in a positive fashion, and the women’s team is very open and eager to learn, so I haven’t had to come down hard at all,” Stanbury said.

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