LA resident Sandora wins Model Coach Award

The California Interscholastic Federation – the state’s governing body for high school sports – last week recognized Los Altos resident Matt Sandora as a 2012-13 Model Coach Award winner.

Sandora, girls volleyball coach at Andrew Hill High in San Jose, was among 14 recipients of the award that honors coaches who have served as positive role models in their schools and communities.

Nominated by his local CIF Section office – the Central Coast Section – Sandora has coached volleyball at Andrew Hill for 10 years. He constantly emphasizes team play over winning, according to a CIF press release, and makes it a priority for all players to play in each game whenever possible.

“In education-based athletics, there is more to participating than just winning and losing,” CIF Executive Director Roger L. Blake said. “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 (trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship).”

This is not the first time Sandora has been honored for being a good sport on the sideline. He received a Steve Stearns Sportsmanship Award from the CCS in 2011 and was named a CCS Fall Sports Honor coach for girls volleyball in 2008.

Sandora grew up in Naperville, Ill., and attended the University of Chicago, where he played volleyball and basketball and earned degrees in biochemistry and chemistry. Sandora then moved west to attend Stanford University, ultimately receiving a Master of Science degree in immunology.

Sandora will soon have another accolade to go along with his degrees and awards. Winners of the CIF Model Coach Award, established 12 years ago, receive a plaque and are honored at their sport’s state championship game or at an event of the recipient’s choosing.

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