SBCC coaching ironman Melendez reaches milestone 500th win in golf


The SBCC men’s golf team celebrates with coach Chuck Melendez, who earned his 500th win on Monday at Alisal Ranch.

Chuck Melendez achieved a milestone on Monday when he notched the 500th Western State Conference victory of his men’s golf coaching career at SBCC.

Melendez actually surpassed it as the Vaqueros went 6-1 on the day and took second in WSC No. 2 at their home course, Alisal Ranch, in Solvang.

Melendez is 503-438-3 in his 15-year career.

“We’ve had several very good teams and a lot of great players,” said Melendez, who guided the 2006 squad to a State runner-up finish and the 2009 team to a WSC title and eighth in the State. “I really enjoy the competitions and I’ve have some real good friendships with some of our former players.

“It’s just real fun, no matter the sport, being able to coach teams and watch them in their competition and their success. There’s a lot of pride involved. Even with football and baseball and the other sports I’ve coached, it’s nice to see the kids from the past go on and do good things.”

Melendez, a former star quarterback for the Vaqueros, is a rarity (outside of cross country/track and field coaches) as he has been the head coach for four teams during his 25-year tenure at SBCC. He led the baseball squad from 1990-94, was the head football coach from 1994-2000 and has coached men’s and women’s golf for the last 15 years.

“I like coaching and it’s neat to coach them at this age because it makes you kind of look back at what you did,” he stated. “I remember being coached by guys like Rusty Fairly and Bob Dinaberg, and we just had a recruit here today. I always tell them about the great coaches I had here at Santa Barbara City College and how they made it a great deal of fun. I try to do the same thing and make it a fun and competitive experience.”

He’s coached three State championship teams in women’s golf (2006, 2008, 2013) and has had three individual women’s state champions. The best finishes on the men’s side were Chris Satterlee, who took third in 2006, and Dodge Ward, who was fourth in 2013.

Jonny Hogan, a sophomore from Santa Ynez High, earned medalist honors for the Vaqueros on Monday with an even-par 72.

“Coach is very laid-back and a very humble individual,” said Hogan. “He’s always guiding us to the right place and making opportunities for us to succeed. We’re looking good this year and we’re ready to go out and play well. It’s just a matter of staying disciplined and being patient.”

Melendez has been the WSC Golf Coach of the Year six times, including five with the women’s team.

“Coaching golf is different than other sports,” noted Melendez, who often serves as tournament director and even handles the fancy printing for the scoreboard. “We’re allowed to talk to our guys during a round but I don’t like doing that. I’ve never liked to try and control people. I like to see guys play by their instincts. I’m really against these range-finders (that measure distance to the hole).

“Most golf coaches are laid-back. I don’t like putting pressure on my team. The game puts enough pressure on you. As long as they’re giving it their best shot, we’ll always be proud of them. I give my guys a lot of autonomy. In golf, it’s all about trying to eliminate mistakes.”