October 31, 2011

Cross Country & Track and Field Coaching Bios

Jamal Cooks, Ph.D.- Director of Cross Country & Track and Field

Dr. Jamal Cooks is the Director of Cross Country and Track and Field at Bishop O’Dowd High School.  Dr. Cooks specializes in the sprints, jumps, and hurdles. Dr. Cooks has coached many indoor and outdoor track club and high school state finalists, national ranked and All-American athletes. His unique style, attention to detail and focus on fundamentals brings out the best in each and every student-athlete.
Dr. Cooks has lead the cross country and track teams to numerous league and section championships. In the past few years, the highlights of the program have been winning six divisions league titles in cross country and capturing the first North Coast Section
(NCS) girls track & field team championship in school history. Previously at Skyline High School, Dr. Cooks had success in the sprints for both boys and girls. Over 12 years, Coach Cooks lead the Skyline Titans to 10 straight girls Oakland Section Team Championships, 10 boys Oakland Section Team Championships, 16 school records, winning over 95% of their dual meets, and 10 top ten times in the country.

Dr. Cooks is a certified Level 1 coach for all track and field event areas, a Level 2 certified coach in sprints, jumps, and hurdles, and a past participant in the United States of America Track and Field Emerging Elite Coaches Camp at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center. He has been a finalist for the All East Bay Coach of the Year and he has been named the East Bay’s Girls Track & Field Coach of the Year by the Oakland Tribune.

He holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, a California Teaching Credential, a M.A. from the University of Michigan in Curriculum Development, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Language Literacy and Culture. He currently as
an Associate Professor at San Francisco State University teaching in the Department of Secondary Education.

Turshika Bennett – Assistant Track and Field Coach

Coach Bennett has been a track and field coach at Bishop O’Dowd for the past 10 years, specializing in sprints and relays.

Coach Bennett has trained athletes such as Devante Dubose (400m – Virginia Tech), Shane Mullaney-Banks  (300 Hurdles – UC Riverside), Lia Rivers-Birt (400/800 – San Luis Obispo), and Damajeria DuBose (800/1600 – UC Riverside). She also was part of the girls 4×100 team that ran 47.15 and the state winning 4×400 team that ran 3:45 in 2007.

Coach Bennett is an Alumna of Bishop O’Dowd. She earned an athletic scholarship to the University of Arizona and later transferred, competed, and graduated from Oregon State. Currently, she is completing an MS degree in Education from Holy Names University and works at the school as the Athletic Academic Liaison Support for Student Athletes.

Andrew Cheng- Head Distance Coach for Cross Country & Track and Field

Coach Cheng has been coaching for 6 years and is entering his 3rd year as the head distance coach for cross-country and track and field at Bishop O’Dowd, specializing in middle and long distance events.  He spent his first 3 years at Skyline High School in Oakland.

In his first season (2011-2012) leading the Bishop O’Dowd cross country and distance programs, Coach Cheng’s teams swept all six division cross country league titles in the fall, the first time in school history they have achieved that in the Hayward Area Athletic League (HAAL).  Both boys and girls varsity teams went undefeated in league competitions.  For his teams accomplishments, he was named the HAAL Coach of the Year.  In his second season, his varsity teams went undefeated again, compiling an unblemished record of 19-0 over his first two seasons with his boys team qualifying for the CIF State Championships where they finished 7th as a team, the highest team finish for the boys in school history.

On the track, his boys distance medley relay and boys 4×800 relay both set school records and were ranked in the top 10 in the country during the 2012 season.  His highlights include Jonathan DeGroot (1:56.13 – University of Redlands), Marie Diaz (5:08.99/18:42 – University of California, San Diego), Emily Fieberling (5:08.06), Eugene Hamilton III (1:50.19/4:11.27 – University of California, Berkeley), Sam Kane (1:54.87/4:13.84 – Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo), Karsten Kaufmann (9:36.20 – Chico State) and Andrew Melendez (9:32.15/15:29).

In his short time at Bishop O’Dowd, Coach Cheng is responsible for 7 school records: Boys 800 (1:50.19), 1600 (4:11.27), 4×800 (7:46.43), distance medley relay (10:12.05) and cross country team times for Hayward High, the NCS Championship course (1:19:16.3; average of 15:51.3) and Woodward Park, the CIF State Championship course (1:22:43; average of 16:33), and the girls 4×1600 (21:35.67).

While at Skyline, he was a part of 11 Oakland Section Team Championships and coached over a dozen Oakland Section Individual Champions. His highlights from Skyline included Patrick Atkins (48.53), Chavariana Ryan (57.8), Cameron Trinh (4:20.60/9:18.13), all California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Championship qualifiers.

Coach Cheng is a level 1 coach certified for all track and field events through USA Track and Field. He competed at San Jose State University where he earned a BS in Health Science and a minor in Kinesiology. He also garnered Western Athletic Conference Academic All-Conference Honors and graduated as a Dean’s Scholar.  He is currently working on his Masters of Public Health at San Jose State University.

Anthony “Tony” Green- Assistant Track and Field Coach

Coach Green, who will focus on developing the throws program, brings 31 years coaching experience to the staff.

His early years of coaching included football and track at Homestead High School in Cupertino, California, then football, track and wrestling at Salesian High School in Richmond before moving to Bishop O’ Dowd where he has led the Dragon track team for the past 26 years. Since 1986, they have won 90% of their dual meets, 6 NCS titles,1 dual meet National Championship, and 21 league championships in the East Shore Athletic League-Bayshore Athletic League and the Hayward Athletic League. His team also won a North Coast Section Championship in 1995.  Under his guidance, his teams have won the second most relay medals in the history of the California Sate meet (second only to Long Beach Poly).

Bishop O’Dowd’s top 50 performances in state history include: the 4×800 meter relay team (7th), Bisa Grant in 100 meter hurdles (10th), girls sprint medley (12th), Miranda Wilson in discus (14th), Miesha Marzell in 800 meters (18th), Michelle Decoux in 300 hurdles (18th), Jamilla Churchill in High Jump (24th), girls 4×400 relay (33rd), Ayana Grant in 100 hurdles (33rd), Lesa Parker in girls 200 meters (39th), and Lesa Parker in girls 100 meters (41st).

Coach Green holds a BA in Social Studies from Santa Clara University.  Coach Green is a recipient of numerous awards including National Coach of the Year, State Coach of the Year, Section Coach of the Year and League Coach of the Year.  His proudest accomplishments have been coaching both of his children Antoniya (class of 2000) in cross county and David (class of 2003) in track and field.  Including his two children, under Coach Green’s leadership, Bishop O’Dowd track team members have gone onto over 80 major universities in the United States such as Brown, Harvard, Miami, UCLA, UC Riverside and USC to name a few and have become leaders of industry in law, politics, community service, professional sports and of course his passion, education.

 


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