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San Ramon Valley AD John Raynor to step down

San Ramon Valley athletic director John Raynor talked with me Tuesday about his decision to step down from that role after this school year.

“There were a lot of emotions connected with it,” said Raynor, 61. “I’ve had a joyous career in athletics, and it’s time to move on.”

Raynor has spent 40 years in education, 29 at San Ramon Valley, and coached the Wolves’ boys basketball team for 27 seasons until 2014. He’s been the school’s AD since 1988, a span that included 46 North Coast Section titles — including five by teams he coached.

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Bishop O’Dowd girls volleyball coach goes to Branson-Ross

Bishop O’Dowd High girls volleyball coach Jorge Peñate is leaving the school to become co-head coach at Branson-Ross, he announced Monday on Twitter.

Peñate helmed Bishop O’Dowd the last two seasons, including to the North Coast Section Division 3 crown this past year. The Dragons were 27-13 last season and reached the CIF State Division 3 quarterfinals a year after going 28-6 and falling to eventual champion Sonoma Valley in the NCS Division 3 semifinals.

The move means Peñate be going from NCS title team to NCS title team, since Branson-Ross is the seven-time defending Division 5 champion. He is joining forces with “close friend” Michelle Brazil, who has led the Bulls to six straight CIF State Division 5 title matches, including championships in 2010-13.

Prior to Bishop O’Dowd, Peñate coached Berkeley from 2012-2013, when the Yellowjackets went 22-11 and 20-12 respectively and twice lost to California in the NCS Division 1 quarterfinals.

 

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Deer Valley boys volleyball coach Lou Panzella steps down

Lou Panzella has stepped down as Deer Valley High boys volleyball coach, ending a long career in the North Coast Section that includes time as coach at Antioch High and of both boys and girls teams.

“It’s kind of time for me,” Panzella said. “It was a difficult decision, but it’s time for somebody else to step in and take over. Everything has to end sooner or later.”

The Wolverines are three-time defending NCS Division champions and reached the CIF State NorCal Division 1 title match in two of those three years. Panzella has helmed the program since Deer Valley opened for the 1996-1997 school year.

“It’s been a fabulous run,” Panzella said. “I’ve been really fortunate to have a ton of really good players play for me.”

His tenure as a coach at Antioch included winning the NCS title in 1995, when there was only one division, and the Division 1 championship in 1996.

Panzella, who teaches special education at Deer Valley, is the head coach for Los Medanos College women’s volleyball.

 

 

 

 

 

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Live blog: East Bay prep football playoffs tonight

De La Salle's Antoine Custer (28) returns a punt for a 58-yard touchdown against Pittsburg in the first quarter of their North Coast Section Division I semifinals game at De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

De La Salle’s Antoine Custer (28) returns a punt for a 58-yard touchdown against Pittsburg in the first quarter of their North Coast Section Division I semifinals game at De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Get the lowdown on prep football playoffs from the East Bay and beyond Friday with in-game updates and scores beginning at 6:45 p.m.

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