H-SPORTS

Apr 16, 2013 3:15 PM by Andrew Masuda

Arroyo Grande High coaching legend Greg DeNike passes away

The Central Coast lost one of its most successful and influential coaches in recent memory over the weekend. Longtime track, cross country and basketball coach Greg De Nike passed away suddenly on Sunday morning. He was 64 years old.

De Nike coached for 27 years at Arroyo Grande High. He led the girls cross country team in 1984 to the school's first-ever CIF title in any sport. DeNike went on to capture 7 CIF titles and 31 Northern League championships. From 1987-1991, his cross country teams were ranked in the top 20 nationally.

In 1992, De Nike switched sports and became an assistant basketball coach until 2003 for the Eagles. He was inducted into Arroyo Grande High's Athletic Hall of Fame in late January of this year.

De Nike also coached varsity boys basketball at Pioneer Valley High from 2005-2009. He later served as an assistant coach at Righetti High until the end of the 2011-12 season.Arroyo Grande High Athletic Director Dwight Mac Donald credited DeNike, a longtime friend, with establishing a tradition of winning and winning the right way at Arroyo Grand High.

"I believe his winning the first cross country championship at Arroyo Grande High School back in 1984 allowed all the other coaches to look and reflect that we can compete throughout the state at our school," said Mac Donald. He described his long-time friend as passionate and dedicated to sports and making his student-athletes better on and off the field.

DeNike's stepdaughter Katie says the family is touched by the outpour of support from the community. Several of his former athletes and students expressed to them how much coach DeNike taught them life lessons they used, not only in high school, but also throughout their adulthood.

A public memorial service has been scheduled at St. Patrick's Church in Arroyo Grande on Friday, April 19 at 3:30 pm. A reception will follow.

DeNike leaves behind his wife of 15 years Susan, two children and three stepchildren.

The family has also started the Greg DeNike Memorial Scholarship Fund at Arroyo Grande High. Donations can be given to Athletic Director Dwight Mac Donald.

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