FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 29, 2014
CONTACT: Valerie Martinez or Laura Flores (562) 668-7833
WHITTIER, CA – The Whittier Union High School District dedicated the newly remodeled Santa Fe High School football field to retired Santa Fe High School Head Coach Jack Mahlstede during a special event Thursday, May 29 that brought together students and school and community leaders to pay tribute to Mahlstede’s 42 years of dedicated service.
“Many of us know the names of some of the best coaches in history: Vince Lombardi, John Madden, Bo Schembechler, Bill Walsh. But very rarely do we know the names of the high school coaches who give their blood, sweat and tears to train and teach their players, motivating them to succeed in school and in life, as well as on the playing field,” WUHSD Board Vice President Jeff Baird during the event.
“It’s for that reason that I’m pleased to be here today to represent our Board of Trustees in dedicating Jack Mahlstede Field,” Baird said. “We want to ensure that Jack Mahlstede will forever be known and remembered as one of the best high school football and track coaches in history.”
Jack Mahlstede coached football, track and cross-country for more than 42 years and was a coach at Santa Fe High School from 1970 to 2011. He served as Head Football coach from 1970 to1982. From 1984 to 2001 he was the Head Track Coach and was Head Cross-Country Coach from 1983 to 1990. From 1991 to 2011, he served again as Head Football Coach.
Mahlstede’s devotion to coaching led the Chiefs to 16 football league championships, 12 of which were in the Del Rio League. He also coached track and cross-country at Santa Fe High for eight years and led the teams to win 10 boys’ track championships and nine girls’ track championships in the Whitmont and Del Rio Leagues in addition to five cross-country championships in the Whitmont League. He was also involved in summer sports and activities with the city of Santa Fe Springs Parks and Recreation Department for many years.
Mahlstede has been recognized by the city of Santa Fe Springs, the city of Whittier and the Whittier Union High School District for his exemplary coaching and mentoring of student athletes. He earned the title of Outstanding Coach of the Del Rio League several times during his coaching career and was inducted into the 605 All Star Game Committee’s Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2011, he was honored as a Rio Hondo Good Scout of the Year at the annual Good Scout Awards and was also inducted into the Southern California Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
“Jack is a highly skilled coach,” WUHSD Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson said during the event. “He is a motivator, a man of great wisdom and has rightfully earned the respect of his players, coaches and colleagues, as well as that of the coaches from rival teams. Jack’s athletes know what Jack stands for and they know that he cares deeply about them.”
Mahlstede graduated from Downey High School and attended Orange Coast Junior College and Brigham Young University. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Long Beach State College in education and went on to earn his master’s degree from Azusa Pacific University in the same field.
Mr. Mahlstede said he is grateful for the support of his family in his dedication to coaching.He has been married more than 54 years and his sons have played for him and coached with him. Two of his grandsons also have played for him. He says he was born to coach and if he had it all to do over again, he would do it in a heartbeat.