CDCR coaches help shape next generation
Hundreds of young male and female athletes learned life’s lessons through the coaching of correctional staff at the California Substance Abuse and Treatment Facility and State Prison (SATF).
“SATF is a very large part of the small community of the City of Corcoran and surrounding cities in the Central Valley,” said SATF Warden Theresa Cisneros. “Our staff are not just part of a community, they are active, involved and take great pride in providing life changing opportunities to our youth.”
Here are some active examples of staff coaching for community groups:
- Alan Shaw, Correctional Counselor II (CC II), 21 years’ experience coaching high school sports
- Gabriel Lujan, Correctional Counselor I (CC I), 14 years of coaching Little League and Girls Travel Basketball
- Eric Gonzalez, CC II, 11 years of coaching youth soccer and baseball for several organizations
- Capt. Allen Iverson, 7 years of coaching youth football
Combined, they have more than 50 years of involvement in youth sports. Their efforts reflect well on CDCR and the department’s level of community involvement.
Alan Shaw, 27 years at CDCR
CC II Shaw coached football at three high schools. He continues his string as a coach at Corcoran High School.
Four players who passed through his hands played in the National Football League:
- Zac Diles, Houston Texans
- Bryce Harris, New Orleans Saints
- Virgil Green, Los Angeles Chargers
- Marquess Wilson, Chicago Bears
CC II Shaw said, “My greatest joy of being a coach is (a former player) telling me I have been a positive influence on their lives.”
“This positive news sometimes comes in the form of messages telling me they just received their college degree, have just received their college degree, or are now coaching themselves,” he said.
The coaching experience proved beneficial in his 27-plus years with CDCR.
“Just like coaching, at CDCR you have to adjust and deal with change or you will not be successful,” he said.
Gabriel Lujan, 11 years at CDCR
CC I Lujan stresses to his charges the need to manage athletic practices with academic needs.
He coached Little League in Corcoran for the past 14 years and Girls Travel Basketball for the past two years.
His communication and leadership skills foster positive relationships with student-athletes. He is well respected in the city of Corcoran.
Eric Gonzalez, 24 years at CDCR
CCII Gonzalez’s sports presence leaves a big footprint in many communities. For 11 years, he’s been involved in the following organizations:
- Hanford Youth Soccer
- Hanford Youth Baseball
- Visalia Cal Ripken Baseball
- Visalia YMCA
- Lemoore Youth Soccer
He also seeks sponsorships so children from low socioeconomic backgrounds can participate in soccer programs.
His coaching techniques stress values useful on and off the field of play. These included teamwork, camaraderie, sportsmanship, motivation, respect and responsibility.
Allen Iverson, 13 years at CDCR
Capt. Iverson cuts a wide swath in youth sports. He serves as vice president of the Exeter Youth Football League.
He has been a vital part of the league and a role model for youth over the past seven years.
Capt. Iverson fought for the ability of the league to have safe practices and games to ensure normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He works hard to raise funds for the league to help participants develop into positive members of their communities.
Submitted by Lt. Brent Urban.