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A New Year for Pioneers Athletics

Katelynn Christensen, August 18, 2011
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This fall is an exciting time for the Pacific Union College athletic program. The college welcomes new coaches for its men’s basketball, men’s soccer, and co-ed cross country teams, and introduces its first athletics-based scholarships.

PUC graduate Kirt Brower returns to coach the Pioneers basketball team for which he played as an undergraduate. In recent years, Brower has taught physical education in the Colton Unified School District and at Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School. He has also coached basketball, baseball, and track and field at St. Helena High School. Additionally, he assisted the University of Redlands’ men’s and women’s basketball teams while completing a master’s degree in education.

Bertin Loyola comes to PUC with eight years of coaching experience, having shared his expertise with the men’s soccer club at the University of California at Davis, the girls’ team at Vacaville Christian High School, and the North Bay Elite Futbal Club in Fairfield, Calif. In his time as a competitive player, Loyola won numerous awards as a student athlete at Vintage High School in Napa, Calif. and received distinction as “Freshman of the Year” at UC Davis, where he played from 2003-2006.

Philip Toohey brings deep enthusiasm and a faith-oriented approach to his new role as cross country coach. A long-time adventurer and competitive runner, Toohey participates in the Napa Marathon and San Francisco Half Marathon. He has enjoyed running along the skirts of Mt. Everest and throughout Yosemite National Park, and he has immersed himself in the culture of athletic training. This season, Toohey’s hope is to inspire a true love of cross country in students and to emphasize motivation and team spirit this season.

Also new this season, distinctive student athletes are qualified to receive up to $5,000 in scholarship for their participation on a team. Scholarship recipients are selected by coaches and must meet the PUC athletic program’s standards of athletic ability, academic performance, and quality of character.