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Jeff Ashton Steps Down as Aquatics Coach at San Marcos

Jeff Ashton is stepping down as aquatics coach at San Marcos after 13 years.

Jeff Ashton coached 13 years at San Marcos. Click to view larger
Jeff Ashton coached 13 years at San Marcos.

Ashton coached the boys water polo and swim teams in one of the toughest leagues in the CIF-Southern Section. His water polo teams won two titles and the swim team one in the Channel League.

"Winning the league titles was really special because I never really knew if that would happen," he said. "I remember my first few years looking at the other coaches and teams in the Channel League -- Mark Walsh at Santa Barbara, Chris Parrish at DP,  John Siman at Buena and Matt Cherie at Ventura -- and feeling intimidated, humbled, and mostly inspired to coach against them every year."

Ashton has been a high school coach for 16 years. He spent his first three years at Fontana High.

"I've decided to step back and spend some time pursuing other interests," he said of his reason to leave coaching. He will continue teaching at San Marcos. "I will finish out this season with boys' swimming and then Peera Sukavivatanachai will be taking over.

"It's been a real pleasure to coach at San Marcos and it has been a tremendous experience for me."

Among his highlights in coaching is taking a group of young athletes he coached in the Santa Barbara Water Polo Club and build a program with them and their families at San Marcos. Many of those athletes have continued playing in college. 

"This past water polo season we had eight alumni playing college water polo.  Some of the best swimmers that we have had in a long time are currently still in high school and many of them will be swimming in college in the years to come," he said.

"Lastly, and probably the biggest highlight of the past 13 years was simply the opportunity to become a part of the San Marcos athletic community and the Santa Barbara aquatics community as a whole. Through that I have met so many tremendous athletes and families and have made lifelong relationships and friendships with both."

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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