Mt. Whitney, Granite Hills coaches honored by CIF

Victoria Johnson and Richard Lambie are among 12 other coaches statewide to be honored as model coaches

SACRAMENTO – Two Tulare County coaches were among 12 in the state to be presented with the California Interscholastic Federation’s Model Coach Award for serving as positive role models in their schools and communities. 

The local coaches awarded are Victoria Johnson, volleyball coach at Mt. Whitney, and Richard Lambie, who coaches water polo, wrestling and swimming at Granite Hills. 

“It’s truly an honor and a blessing,” said Johnson of winning the award. “It’s just a great opportunity to be part of the Pioneer family here. And I feel like part of being a role model is providing opportunities for girls to thrive.”

This is Johnson’s 30th year coaching and her ninth at Mt. Whitney. During her time as a coach, she has organized several fundraisers for staff and community members facing medical hardships. 

“We’ve used volleyball as a platform to raise funds for staff members that have had cancer,” Johnson said. “The fundraisers have been a great way for the girls to show the community our support.” 

The funds are raised through game ticket sales and from selling gift baskets and homemade goods. Games that use ticket sales for the fundraisers are called “Warrior Nights”,  as a tribute to community members battling cancer. 

“I’m not just a coach of volleyball, I’m a coach of life,” Johnson said.

Richard Lambie has been in education for 44 years, and has coached football, cross-country, volleyball, wrestling, softball, baseball and diving during this time, according to his bio on Granite Hills’s website. He has coached 25 different championship teams and been awarded the titles of Mentor Teacher twice and Teacher of the Year three times. He was also awarded as Tulare County Teacher of the Year in 2011. 

Both coaches were chosen as Model Coaches by CIF for demonstrating the “Six Pillars of Character”: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and good citizenship.

“We recognize and honor those transformational coaches who take pride in guiding the student-athletes they mentor,” said CIF Executive Director Ron Nocetti.

Start typing and press Enter to search