Todd Heil
Todd Heil, Santa Barbara High’s boys soccer coach, has been recognized as a “Model Coach” by the CIF State Office. (Noozhawk file photo)

Santa Barbara High boys soccer coach Todd Heil has been recognized as a “model coach” by the governing body of high school sports in California.

Heil is one of 13 coaches to be honored with the Model Coach Award by the CIF State Office.

The award, sponsored by Eastbay, a supplier of athletic footwear, apparel and sports equipment. recognizes coaches who have served as positive role models in their schools and communities, and who have exhibited the traits apparent in the 16 principals of the CIF’s mission statement of Pursuing Victory with Honor.

In 23 seasons at Santa Barbara High, Heil has coached the Dons to three CIF-Southern Section titles, including a Division 1 title in 2018, taken them to five CIF-SS finals, and won a CIF State Regional championship.

But the award Heil is receiving is not about titles.

“There is more to education-based athletics than just winning and losing,” CIF Executive Director Roger L. Blake said in a statement. “We honor and recognize those coaches who teach student-athletes not only the skills needed to excel but also those who are dedicated to teaching them the values of Pursuing Victory with Honor and the Six Pillars of Character.

“Coach Heil demands each player represent the values instilled in the program, including being respectful, honest, trustworthy and accountable for one’s actions not only on the field of play but in the classroom as well,” Blake added.

“He prides himself in making sure his players and program are recognized for their integrity and high moral standards. His character as a coach puts him in a class of coaches that are role models for young coaches who are entering the high school ranks of coaching.”

Santa Barbara Athletic Director Joe Chenoweth said the school is “tremendously fortunate” to have Heil lead the boys soccer program.

“Todd has such a strong moral compass and his character and leadership cannot be matched,” Chenoweth said. “He has a positive impact on everyone he comes in contact with. This award cannot be given to a more deserving coach.

“Yes, SBHS is lucky to have Todd Heil on staff as a seasoned coach who serves as a mentor to all.” 

The CIF’s credo of a model coach is that person demonstrates and teaches the six core ethical values: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship.

The CIF believes the highest potential of sports is achieved when teachers/coaches consciously “Teach, Enforce, Advocate and Model (T.E.A.M.) these values and are committed to the ideal of Pursuing Victory with Honor.

Heil is one of two coaches from the Southern Section to receive the award. The other is Elisa Valenzuela, a volleyball coach at La Puente High.

The other honorees are Heather Fax-Huckaby (basketball, Sweetwater High, San Diego Section), Michelle Galarza (cheer, South East High, L.A. City Section), Lorenzo Hernandez (football, Garfield, LACS), Terry Logue (football, Bear River, San Joaquin Section),  Sam Lopez (wrestling, Selma, Central Section), Laura Schmidt (cross country, Redwood, North Coast Section), Todd Sloat (football, Fall River, North Section), Marcy Tarr (volleyball, cross country, Marysville, SJS) and Rosemary Whisenton (volleyball, cheer, softball, Oakland Tech, Oakland Section).

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.