SBCC Cross-country: Coach comes full circle

Alex Higgins

One of the fresh faces around campus is Scott Fickerson, who is replacing Robin Paulson as the new coach of track and cross-country. He is also the new surf instructor here at SBCC.

Fickerson, 35, has a very impressive resume, having coached track and field and cross-country for 12 years. He coached most recently at California Lutheran College, in Thousand Oaks, for seven seasons. He led a team that was a consistent contender in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

After his seven years of coaching at Cal Lutheran, Fickerson said he is excited about coaching in Santa Barbara. “[This is] a new opportunity to work with a different type of team, athletically, economically, socially,” he said. He also mentioned the location and diversity of City College.

According to Fickerson, every coach has his or her own style. What separates him is his ability to change his style to accommodate the group that he has. He plans to customize training for multiple groups of athletes that have different abilities and experience. Fickerson hopes for his team to qualify for the Southern California Championship, which requires a top six finish in the conference.

The diverse group of athletes at City College seems to be excited as well. “He’s doing a great job for being so new, and does great coaching,” said Shane McKinney, a first year student who has been running track for six years.

Born in Ojai and raised in Ventura, Fickerson said he loved running up and down the sandy beaches of Ventura with his dad. One day the local club track team had an advertisement posted at the beach. Fickerson joined, and never stopped. “It just sounded fun to me,” Fickerson said. He ran track all the way through elementary school, middle school, high school, Ventura College, and even ran with the Aggies for three years at University of California, Davis, while earning his bachelors degree in physical science.

Fickerson continued with running after college, shifting his focus to coaching. He started by going back to Ventura High School and becoming an assistant coach. The year Fickerson coached, the Ventura Cougars finished fifth in the state at the cross-country championships.

Fickerson has also been an ocean lifeguard for 18 years. He earned a level two certification at numerous track and field events.

When he’s not busy coaching track and cross country, or instructing surfers, Fickerson loves to relax. He enjoys spending time with his family and his girlfriend. Fickerson also enjoys his very active life of surfing, mountain climbing, biking, and, of course, running.

“I’m very happy to be here, enjoyed my first month here, and I’m looking forward to many more years,” Fickerson said.