Arguably the most dedicated, motivated and inspirational coaches to ever walk the hallways of Contra Costa College was voted as the 2015 Coach of the Year — Alonzo Carter.
The Pacific 7 Conference presented Carter with the award after leading the CCC football team to a 9-1 record and a bowl berth.
It is his third such award in four years. While he savors the moment, he said it is all about giving back to his young men on and off the football field.
“I just want to give back. This is my passion. I remember when I started here we were 1-9, but all of a sudden we’ve won four straight conference championships and some of my students are heading off to some major four-year institutions after they finish with CCC — and that’s what it’s all about,” Carter said.
In his sixth year at CCC, Carter has established a culture of winning for his student-athletes who have streamed into the program.
“When I first got hired by (Athletic Director John) Wade and former CCC president McKinley Williams,” he said, “I remember all of us agreeing that the most important factor of us working together was to see the players graduate.”
Carter said not many people know this about him, but he was a CCC student just before he started to build his legacy at the college.
He keeps every contact in a black binder that contains over 100 scouts’ phone numbers and also those of individuals looking to conduct business with him and CCC.
He calls it his “Bible.”
“Those relationships, you keep them in your pocket,” he said. “Ken Norton Jr., Steve Sarkisian and Brian Polian are just some of the people who have influenced this entire process. So when they say ‘coach of the year’ it all goes back to graduation, transferring to four-year schools and giving them (students) a part of me that’s in you,” he said.
There is no off season for Carter because he said he and men’s soccer coach Nikki Ferguson have created a friendly wager about who can get the most kids to transfer with a high GPA.
“I’m very competitive and Ferguson used to have the most. But now I’m kind of passing him,” Carter said with a laugh. “It’s literally my second season, the off season, and I love to get these kids transferring on offers from these four-year schools.”
Wade said Carter has done a great job this year even with all the freshmen on the team.
“He is an excellent coach, great schemes, good (assistant) coaches and he does everything he needs to do to be successful,” Wade said.
He also said he appreciates how the coaches all attended CCC as students, so the coaching staff can actually say they know what it is to be a struggling student in college.
“Carter will always be able to look back and say he did it the hard way, his way, with his family and completed school when things didn’t look good,” he said. “Any student can look up to that for motivation.”
Cameron Burston, 2015 CCC quarterback, said during their 11- game winning streak, dating back to last season, Carter always had the team focused.
“That’s the word, blood,” Burston said. “All four quarters of every game and throughout the season that man has had us focused like no other.”
Even Comet defensive lineman Marquis Pippins said he is motivated to graduate from CCC and transfer to a four-year university, but he is especially happy with moving up in the conference again.
“We’re now going to play in the Bay 6 Conference in 2016 and this is all because of Carter,” Pippins said.
Carter remained humbled and honored when he accepted the coaching position at CCC.
“I don’t know what the future holds, but I am committed to building something special here for all these kids, now and in the future.”