Renee Ross enters her 4th season as head coach of the Mesa Men’s and Women’s track and field program and 6th season as head coach for the women’s cross country program.
Since arriving at Mesa in 2008, Ross was named the 2008 PCAC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year, as well as the 2011 PCAC Men's Track and Field Coach of the Year after the Olympians were crowned the 2011 Foothill Conference Champions..
Before coming to San Diego Mesa College, Ross coached for 24 years at five different high schools. . She brings over 30 years of coaching experience to Mesa. She is also a level 1 USA Track and Field certified coach
Prior to her coaching tenure, Ross attended Riverside Poly High School where she competed in track and field as well as cross country, shattering long-standing records and preparing to enter the collegiate scene. She went on to compete at SDSU in everything from the 100 meters on up to 1500 meters. She held SDSU's 400 meter record for 20 years until it was broken a year ago and still currently holds the 800 meter record. A three-time All-American, Ross held a commanding presence on the track across the board as she placed on SDSU's all-time top 10 list in 10 events. In 1985, she missed the world 500 meter indoor mark by a mere second. Ross competed in the 1984, 1988 and 1996 Olympic Trials in the 400 and 800 meters.
Ross was born and raised in Riverside, CA. She is married to Mike, a former SDSU Aztec Baseball player who had a stint with the Houston Astros organization. They have 3 children who are no strangers to athletics. Mandy was a standout sprinter at Azusa Pacific University and is currently attending Pepperdine for her master’s degree. Danielle is a sophomore and is currently the center back on the soccer team at Azusa Pacific University and a math major. Sean is in 7th grade playing for the Easton A’s travel ball team under the coaching of Dave Stewart (Dodgers/Oakland A’s) who was inducted in the Hall of Fame.
Ross earned her B.A. degree in Kinesiology from San Diego State University.Her Master’s degree from National University.
Monique Henderson, a 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist joins the coaching staff at Mesa College as an assistant sprint coach. Since retiring from sprinting in 2008, she has been coaching athletes of all ages.
Henderson prepped at Morse High School in San Diego '01. She is the only 4-time 400 meters California State Champion in the state's history from 98–01. At age 17, she set a US junior class, as well as high school national record at 50.74 in the 400 m at the CIF California State Meet. In 2000, she became the first high school athlete to make the US Olympic track & field team since 1976. That year she was named the national Girl's "High School Athlete of the Year" by Track and Field News. . Her section, state, and national scholastic records in the 400m still stand today. She attended UCLA and won 9 conference titles in the 200m and 400m, an NCAA Championship in the 400m, and earned an Olympic Gold Medal as part of the 4x400m. After graduating from UCLA, she made her third Olympic team in 2008 as part of the 4x400m and earned her second Gold Medal. Her best times are 49.96 in the 400m and 22.71 in the 200m.
Monique was born and raised in San Diego and was recently inducted into the San Diego Breibard Hall of Fame as the youngest recipient.
Thom Hunt is in his fifth year coaching the distance runners at San Diego Mesa College. Under his guidance, Mesa athletes have won four individual state championships and have had a total of eleven all-state performers in the past three years. Mesa athletes have also won twelve Pacific Coast Athletic Conference titles from 2007-2009. Hunt was also coach of the United States Junior Men at the World Cross Country Championships held in Edinbrough, Scotland in 2008.
In addition to coaching, Hunt is the secretary of the Cross Country Executive Council of USATF. Locally, he serves as the mens long distance running chair for the San Diego-Imperial Association of USATF. Coach Hunt is a Level 1 USATF certified coach.
Before coaching, Hunt had a successful international running career that spanned 17 years. In high school, Hunt set the national record in the indoor mile with a time of 4:02.7. As a freshman at the University of Arizona, he won the Junior International Cross Country title. He was also a seven-time NCAA All-American. During his post collegiate career, Hunt competed in four US Olympic Trials and set an American Record in the 10k on the roads with a 28:12 in 1981.
Coach Hunt is married to Caroline Marshall and they have three children; Marshall, Claire, and Chloe. He also plays drums for The Jackals, a no-frills rock n roll band.
Coach Robert Williams is the newest addition to the San Diego Mesa College coaching staff. A native of Riverside, CA, he was a high school stand-out as he clinched California State Championship title in the 110 high hurdles in 2005. He then went on to attend Washington State University where he continued to set the track ablaze, climbing the record charts and ranking amongst the top 10 hurdlers in WSU history. Williams was a three-time NCAA Championship qualifier in the high hurdles, an NCAA Championship qualifier in the 4x400m relay, a four-time PAC-10 finalist and was previously ranked as one of the top collegiate hurdlers in the country. In addition to apprenticing alongside his collegiate coaches while training post-collegiately at WSU, Coach Williams has mentored athletes at various track and field clinics throughout the state of Washington as well as engaged in a brief coaching stint at Riverside City College.
Jason Jackson is entering his second year at the throws coach at San Diego Mesa College. In his first season with the Olympians, Jackson coached his squad to three Pacific Coast Conference titles and a state qualifier in the discus.
Jackson attended the University of California, San Diego where he was a four year athlete, finishing as an All-CCAA Conference athlete in 2011. He graduated from UCSD in 2012 with a B.S. in phyisology/neuroscience and is a USATF level 1 certified coach.
Coach Erl Cabanas joins the San Diego Mesa Track & Field coaching staff as a throws coach. Specializing in the Javelin, Coach Cabanas brings to Mesa College 35 years of coaching experience along with a USATF Level 1 coaching certification and is recognized as a USATF Master-level official in the throws events.
Prior to joining the Mesa staff, Cabanas coached at several San Diego-area high schools and colleges after moving from Hawai'i in 1978. After a career-ending injury, he mentored under his collegiate coach before coaching at the high school level. Under his guidance, he advanced prep athletes to the San Diego CIF Section and California State championships. His prep club athletes have stood on the national podium numerous times since 1992. In 2003, he coached to the national podium three medalists including one believed to be the first USATF Junior Olympics national (regulation) javelin champion from San Diego. In 2004, Coach Cabanas again coached three prep javelin throwers to the national podium. In 2008, Cabanas coached a female San Diego-area javelin thrower to a national champion and a still-standing AAU national age-group record. A strong presence within the San Diego youth track club arena, Cabanas has also coached disabled and masters athletes in the throwing events.
A former prep and collegiate athlete born & raised in Hawai'i, Coach Cabanas earned his B.A. in Human Development and Master's degree in Education from Azusa Pacific University.
Matthew Sweet is entering his second year as the head pole vault coach at San Diego Mesa College after working as an assistant. He brings to Olympians 10 years of experience in the event split between years competing and years coaching. During his time he brought multiple athletes to events such as Arcadia, Mt. Sac, CIF, and State. Since his arriving at Mesa as an assistant Mesa has led two individuals to State, a conference championship title in 2013. He is a USATF level 1 coach.