Track & Field Coaching Staff
Tony Sandoval
Director of Track & Field / Head Cross Country Coach
Coach Info:
Position: Director of Track & Field / Head Cross Country Coach
Experience: 34 Years
Cell Phone: 510-316-5103

With more than 35 years of experience coaching collegiate track & field, Tony Sandoval is in his 35th season as a member of the California coach staff and seventh overseeing the men's and women's program as Director of Track & Field.

Sandoval initially came to Cal as head women's coach in the fall of 1982 and served in that capacity for nine years before the men's and women's teams combined into a single entity, serving as associate director of track & field from 1992-2007. In addition, Sandoval, who specializes in coaching the Golden Bear runners in the 800 meters and above, is Cal's head cross country coach.

Over the course of his tenure, Sandoval has developed a host of All-Americans, national champions and Olympians. In 2011, Cal produced a national champion in the decathlon (Mike Morrison) and a total of eight All-American certificates. The men finished in the top 25 for three consecutive seasons from 2009-11. The men also claimed the 2014 MPSF Indoor Championship for the first time in school history, garnering Sandoval NCAA West Region and MPSF Coach of the Year honors. On the women's side, the Bears have had three NCAA winners in recent years: Alysia Johnson (800m, 2007), Kelechi Anyanwu (discus, 2007) and Katie Morgan (pole vault, 2008). 

The Bear women finished in the top 20 three times between 1987 and 1990, in addition to taking fourth at the 1990 NCAA Indoor Championships. Cal scored a school-record 23 points at the 1990 outdoor meet to claim 11th place, tying the 1987 team for the program's highest finish ever.

Under his tutelage, members of the Cal women's team have earned All-America honors on 31 different occasions. Johnson (now running as Alysia Montano), a three-time USA champion who also represented the United States at the 2007 and '11 World Championships in the 800 and had the fastest time in the world in the event in 2010, completed her collegiate career with six All-America awards. Chloe Jarvis earned indoor All-American honors in the 800 in 2005, while Erin Belger finished third in the 800 at the 2002 NCAA meet. In cross country, Bridget Duffy earned All-America honors under Sandoval in 2003. This past fall, both Deborah Maier (11th) and Chelsea Reilly (24th) claimed All-America status at the NCAA cross country meet, helping the team to an 18th-place showing.

Other athletes Sandoval has coached include 2000 Olympian and All-American Bolota Asmerom; six-time All-American Richie Boulet; three-time middle distance All-American and AIAW 800 champion Louise Romo; Kirsten O'Hara, an All-American in cross country and the 5000 and 10,000; Elissa Riedy, a two-time All-American in the 1500 and once in cross country; Laura Baker, an All-American in the 800; Sally Wood, All-American in the 5000; Sabrina Han, All-American in the 10,000; and Magdalena Lewy, an All-American in the 5000 and one of the U.S. top long distance runners who competed in the 2008 Olympics in the marathon and placed fifth in the marathon at the 2005 U.S. Olympic trials; All-American Tenaya Soderman in the 10,000; Susan Vigil, an 800-meter national champion at New Mexico.

The 1986 NorPac Conference Track & Field Coach of the Year, Sandoval was Cal's head women's cross country coach from 1982-91 and has served as head coach for the men's and women's squad since 1992. In 2007, he guided the men's team to its first appearance as a team to the NCAA championships, where they placed 16th. The Bears returned to nationals in 2008 and took 22nd. Sandoval led the women's program to a pair of top 20 finishes in 1984 (15th) and 1988 (ninth).

Sandoval has coached cross country runners to All-America honors 13times: Yosef Ghebray, Marilyn Davis, Riedy, O'Hara (three times), Duffy, Maier (twice), Reilly, Boulet, Wood and Han. In addition, Boulet earned indoor All-America honors in the 3000 three times, Maier has one award in the 5000, and Lisa Lopez was an indoor All-American in the mile.

Sandoval began his career a year out of college by developing the Duke City Dashers track club in Albuquerque, N.M. DCD became a "super club" with numerous national-level and record-breaking boys' and girls' age-group athletes in cross country and track & field. Many of those age groupers developed into national level AAU and collegiate runners. In 1972, three DCD athletes coached by Sandoval were Olympic Trials finalists. Lynn Bjorklund was DCD's most accomplished runner, winning three AAU cross country championships and two AAU two-mile championships. Bjorklund was world ranked in the two mile/3000 in 1974 and 1975 and remains the national high school record holder for the 3000.

Sandoval started his collegiate coaching career with New Mexico's women's team in 1975, serving as an assistant before taking over the head coaching duties. His UNM track team finished as high as ninth nationally. He also developed 10 All-Americans, including long distance and cross country runner Karen Crammond, middle distance runners Regina Draminga of Uganda and Tecla Chemabawi of Kenya, and 1979 800 national champion Susan Vigil (a former DCD runner) during his eight years with the Lobos.

Active in all areas of amateur track and field, Sandoval served as the head coach for the 1995 U.S. Junior Pan American women's track and field team, which competed in Santiago, Chile. He was also an assistant coach for the U.S. team at the 1991 Pan American Games in Cuba. Formerly the long distance coordinator for women for the Olympic Development subcommittee of the AAU, Sandoval has had four U.S. national team assignments, including the head coaching position for a U.S. junior team that competed in Cuba and Canada in 1987. In addition, Sandoval was the head coach for United States at the World Cross Country Championships in Glasgow, Scotland (1978), and Madrid, Spain (1981).

Sandoval's expertise extends to meet management, as he has a wealth of experience conducting major cross country and indoor and outdoor track invitationals. He was a member of the NCAA Track & Field Rules Committee (1981-88) that directs all three Division I championship meets.

A 1968 graduate of New Mexico, Sandoval was a three-year letterwinner in cross country and track & field for a Lobo team that won two Western Athletic Conference titles in cross country and three conference championships in track & field. Sandoval competed in the mile, two-mile and steeplechase events, and he was an all-time top 10 performer in both the mile and two mile.

Sandoval attended Albuquerque High School in New Mexico and won the 1962 state cross country title and captured the 1963 state 880-yard championship.

Sandoval received a double master's degree from UNM in exercise physiology, and guidance and counseling in 1974. He taught in the undergraduate physical education department at UNM while working on a Ph.D. in sports psychology.

Sandoval and his wife, Barbara, reside in Pleasant Hill with their daughters, Lisa and Marcy. Lisa is a Cal graduate and a former Cal track athlete. Marcy currently attends Cal and is a team manager for the Bears.