Where Are They Now: Jeff Roberts

Posted: October 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

Jeff Roberts was head coach of Capistrano Valley Wrestling in the 1980s.  During his tenure, Capo was very dominant, finishing as state runner-up in 1988.  Coach Roberts has been pretty active in the wrestling community since then, and we were able to catch up with him recently.  Here is what he had to say:

Coach Roberts at Capo, far left, with Kenny Berger, coach Ted Wilson, and Mike Phillips

Coach Roberts at Capo, far left, with Kenny Berger, coach Ted Wilson, and Mike Phillips

1) What years did you coach at Capo, and what did the team accomplish during your tenure?

I was the head wrestling coach at Capistrano Valley High School from 1983-1988. During my time at Capo, we won four South Coast League Titles and had a 59 match win streak. In 1988 the Cougars took 2nd at 5-Counties (we were the top team in California at that tournament.  Shawnee HS, Oklahoma, won). We also finished 11th (1987) & 2nd (1988) at the CIF State Championships. My two favorite moments from my experience at Capistrano Valley High School would be: Tim Ige, winning his semifinal match to become the first Capo wrestler to wrestle for a CIF State Championship in 1985,  and in 1987 when Mike Phillips, who finished 5th in the CIF Southern Section, defeated future MMA Hall of Famer, Dan Henderson, in the CIF State Championship finals to become the first Capo wrestler to win a CIF State Championship.

2) What did you do after your coaching tenure at Capo?

I left Capo to become the principal at Calvary Chapel HS, where I hired and coached with John Azevedo, where we won two CIF State Championships. In 1994, our family moved to Northern California, where I became Dean of Calvary Chapel Bible College and was the walk-on head coach at Bear River HS, in Grass Valley. Bear River, a small school with 750 kids in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section, never had anyone qualify for state. After four years, we finished 13th in the state and had 5 CIF State place winners. I finished my coaching career at Clovis West HS where we finished 5th and 6th in the CIF State Championships. During this time period, I was the head freestyle coach for California USA Team at Junior Nationals, and the team won the freestyle National Championship. We also hosted the USA Dream Team Classic, the only time it has been held in California.

After retiring from coaching I was honored with being inducted into the California Wrestling Hall of Fame, USA National Wrestling Hall of Fame, and the Orange County Wrestling Hall of Fame. I am currently working in the private sector at TimeValue Software in Irvine.

 3) Tell us about your family life:

My wife Mary and I just celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary. My daughter Mandi, became a successful architect, is married to another architect and living in Beverly Hills. My eldest son, David, was Valedictorian at Clovis West HS and had a very successful wrestling career. He was a 4X CIF Champion and HS “All-American.” In college he was a 2X NCAA DI Qualifier and Pac-Ten Runner Up at Cal Poly SLO. Dave is  now married and living in Dana Point.  My youngest son, Danny, is a highly successful artist and photographer in the fashion industry and lives in Laguna Niguel.

Jeff Roberts today, right, with son Danny, left

Jeff Roberts today, right, with son Danny, left

 4) What is some advice you have for current Capo wrestlers:

The sport of wrestling has taught me to set lofty goals, work hard to achieve them, persevere through the hard times and never give-up. These life lessons gained from this great sport would be my advice to future wrestlers at Capistrano Valley.

My parting message for young Cougars would be to dream big!!!! Work hard and become a student of the sport. The more technically skilled you become, the greater you level of success. And finally don’t give up on your dreams; continue through good times and bad, until the official finally blows the whistle.

  1. Ed Cordi says:

    Wonderful! Glad to hear all of that Coach!

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