MONTEREY PARK, CA — East Los Angeles College confirmed two current coaches, Robert “Bobby” Godinez and James Hines to serve jointly as Directors of Athletics replacing 18-year A.D. Al Cone who stepped down.
“I am excited to have both Coach Godinez and Coach Hines to serve in this role,” said Marvin Martinez, President, East Los Angeles College. “I know they will both carry on the legacy established by Al Cone for ELAC to continue to have the best Athletics program in the state.”
At 36, Godinez is one of the youngest community college athletic directors in the country. He joined the school’s athletic department in 2016, is full-time faculty in the kinesiology department and will continue to coach the football team. Godinez coached the Huskies to two straight winning seasons for the first time in about 40 years. ELAC will return to the upper division this season. They last won a state title in the upper division (1974).
Hines, a full-time faculty member since 2002 and the baseball coach since 1998, guided the Huskies to the state championship game in 2000. He’s won four conference titles and hit the 400-win mark in 2016. He received his Bachelor’s in Sociology from Cal State L.A. and a Master’s in Education (emphasis in Physical Education) from Azusa Pacific University. Hines played baseball at ELAC in the 1992 and 1993 seasons with Al Cone as the coach. He transferred to Cal State Northridge on an athletic scholarship and began as an ELAC assistant baseball coach in 1995.
Godinez earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a master’s in Kinesiology (emphasis in Sports Management) from San Jose State University where he excelled and was named Academic All-American and received All-Conference honors.
After completing his degrees, Godinez signed a free agent contract with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, which ended in a career-ending injury. He coached three seasons at NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision Gardner-Webb University, a season as an assistant coach at Mt. San Antonio College (2010) and a season as an assistant coach at Pasadena City College (2009). Godinez began his coaching career as the football coach at La Verne Lutheran High School (2008) and in one year coached the team to a rare league title and its first state ranking at No. 9.
His future already showed promise in high school. A three-sport star at Los Altos High School led to Godinez earning an athletic scholarship to the U.S. Air Force Academy where he played football and basketball. He then became an All-American, All-State football safety at Mt. San Antonio College, which resulted in a scholarship to San Jose State.
Prior to becoming the ELAC football coach, Godinez was interim coach of the men’s and women’s track and field head team at Pasadena City College in 2015-16. At Victor Valley College he was the men’s basketball head coach (2013-2015) and an assistant football coach (2013-14).
Godinez opened his own business, Optimal Sports, working with high school, college and professional athletes that included NFL star/USC All-American, Shaun Cody and MLB All-Star pitchers Jason Vargas of the Mets and Jared Weaver, formerly of the Angels.
“I’m excited to begin a new chapter for ELAC Athletics following in the footsteps of a legend such as Al Cone,” said Godinez. “(It’s) going to be a huge task, but I’ll use the blueprint to help better this department.”
A resident of Montclair, Godinez and his wife Jennifer have three children, daughter Payton and sons Avery and Grayson.
Hines is excited to contribute as co-Athletic Director. “I’ve stepped on board … (because) I’m looking forward to getting involved with all student athletes and meetings that help promote the athletic department … and with legislation at the state level for athletics in the California Community Colleges,” said Hines. “Also, to improve on some of the things Al Cone did, who left it in good shape with the sense that when you inherit something, you want to make it better.”
“The athletic programs help prepare student athletes understand the maturation process as individuals,” said Hines. “This helps them go out into the world.” Hines is given credit for one such opportunity from Joshua DeAngelis, a pitcher for Husky baseball team that won two straight conference titles in 2004 (30-7 overall) and 2005 (28-10).
“Josh re-enlisted in the United States Army after playing with us at ELAC and went on to become an Army Ranger,” said Hines. “He did three tours in Afghanistan and is now an instructor for the Army in Fort Benning, Georgia. He wrote in a letter to me and said that everything we taught him in the ELAC baseball program, such as the accountability we put on our guys, helped him to get through the process of becoming an Army Ranger.”
“That’s something that I’ve held close to my heart,” said Hines. “That this guy was out there protecting our country and firmly believes ELAC’s program helped him get to that lead-level of being an Army Ranger.”
Hines coached 16 All-Americans, some that have gone on to play baseball professionally, including organizations such as the Dodgers, Mariners, Padres, Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays, as well as with teams in other countries. Hines and his wife Renee are residents of Glendora and have three children, daughter Malena and sons Julian and Oliver who are each active in sports.
Follow ELAC Athletics at http://athletics.elac.edu/landing/index or on Facebook at ELAC Huskies Athletics (@elachuskiesathletics).
(Tadzio Garcia, East Los Angeles College Sports Information Desk)