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Johnson veering off the course

Veteran Crescenta Valley High girls' golf coach will watch daughter play college soccer.

June 03, 2010|By Charles Rich
  • Crescenta Valley High girls' golf coach Ken Johnson has resigned his position to follow his daughter's college soccer exploits.
Crescenta Valley High girls' golf coach Ken Johnson… (Scott Smeltzer )

Having restored the Crescenta Valley High girls' golf program during an era which included a pair of Pacific League championships, Coach Ken Johnson had to follow through with a difficult choice.

Johnson faced the decision of whether to continue as coach or hit the road to New Mexico to watch his daughter, Amanda Rose Johnson, launch her collegiate soccer career. Johnson chose family first and recently resigned his post.

This fall, instead of instructing players with their long and short games, Johnson will reside in a motel in Las Vegas, N.M., so he can observe his daughter's matches. Living out of a suitcase for two months isn't a concern for Johnson.

"The golf season is at the same time as the soccer season," said Johnson, who will watch Amanda play for NCAA Division II program New Mexico Highlands University that competes in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. "I'm sad and glad at the same time because I wanted to continue coaching, but Amanda will be playing soccer.

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"I had told our team after the season ended that I might not be back. The players were telling me to come back, but my wife will be retiring and we can see Amanda play two-to-three matches per week."

Johnson took over the program in 2002 from John Pehar, who currently serves as Crescenta Valley's boys' golf coach.

When Johnson inherited the team, the Falcons were a freelance squad. They then joined the Pacific League in 2005 before becoming one of the elite teams in the league.

After the Falcons went 3-8 and 2-6 in the Pacific League their first season, things changed for Crescenta Valley. Crescenta Valley featured standouts Christine Cho and Katie Park and quickly held firm atop the league standings. The Falcons won back-to-back league titles in 2006 and 2007.

"I think the first three years for me coaching the program were a great reward," said Johnson, who was selected the 2007 All-Area Girls' Coach of the Year after the Falcons went 26-4 and 20-4 in league before placing a respectable seventh at the CIF Southern Section Central Team Divisional. "I took over a team that was young and inexperienced and we knew it would take some time before we'd get a winning record.

"Then we started to begin doing pretty well. We had people like Christine who came in, did well and inspired a lot of the girls. She was a big boost to the team and engaged enthusiasm."

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