Moramarco named CIF Model Coach
Last updated 7/8/2020 at 10:42am
The CIF has a Model Coach Award, and one of the 2019-2020 recipients is Pat Moramarco, a 1982 Fallbrook High School graduate and current Vista High School girls' basketball coach.
"It's obviously a great honor. It's a little bit of a surprise because it comes from the state, not the section," Moramarco said. "It's a great accomplishment, and I really appreciate that."
The CIF Model Coach Award program was created by the CIF State Federated Council to recognize coaches who have served as positive role models in their schools and communities and who have exhibited the traits of the CIF's Pursuing Victory with Honor principles. A model coach demonstrates and teaches the six core ethical values of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and good citizenship; the CIF sometimes refers to those as the Six Pillars of Character.
"It's based on a lot of things," Moramarco said.
Twelve coaches throughout California were selected as 2019-2020 CIF Model Coach Award recipients. Moramarco was the only coach from the CIF San Diego Section to receive that recognition.
"I think it's probably a longevity thing. It's more of a career award," Moramarco said. "It's just such a great honor."
As solely a CIF season coach, Moramarco's most prominent achievement during the 2019-2020 girls' basketball season was winning his 365th career game, which moved him to eighth place on the all-time San Diego Section list. Vista finished third in the 2019-2020 Avocado East League standings.
The Moramarco family moved from Whittier to Rainbow in 1975. Moramarco was a Vallecitos Elementary School student for sixth through eighth grades before beginning the student portion of his Fallbrook High School history. He was on the Warriors' football and baseball teams, playing one year of varsity football under head coach Tom Pack and two years of varsity baseball under head coach Dave Heid. Moramarco played wide receiver during the football season and center field in baseball competition.
Moramarco took classes at both Palomar College and Mira Costa College, and at the time those two schools had a combined athletic program. Moramarco threw the javelin and discus for the track and field team. He transferred to San Diego State University and received a degree in physical education. Moramarco's student teaching assignments were at San Marcos Middle School and Mira Mesa High School.
Although he was teaching at Mira Mesa High School, Moramarco began coaching at Fallbrook High School. He coached football, basketball and track and field for the Warriors from 1986 to 1989. He was a lower-level coach when Fallbrook's varsity football team won the 1986 CIF championship.
Moramarco was the head junior varsity basketball coach when Jerry Port was the varsity head coach, and he was an assistant coach for football and track and field. Moramarco also was a substitute teacher at Fallbrook High School before being hired by the Vista Unified School District in 1990.
Moramarco was an assistant football coach for Vista from 1990 to 1993 and also from 1996 to 1999, so that was his first coaching position with the Panthers. He first coached the Vista girls' varsity basketball team for the 1990-1991 season. He has had two stints, totaling 22 seasons, as the Panthers' head girls' basketball coach. He took over as the school's athletic director in 1997 and stepped down as the varsity basketball coach in 2002.
"It became a lot of stuff, so I took some time off from being a varsity coach," Moramarco said.
Moramarco had no other coaching positions during the 2002-2003 season; he was solely the athletic director. At the time, Vista High School had drug testing for all extracurricular activities, and he also administered the school's drug testing program.
"It was the least eventful, least fun year that I've had in my career," Moramarco said.
Between 2003 and 2010, Moramarco coached at lower-level programs before returning as the Panthers' head girls basketball coach in 2010. He is still the school's athletic director.
Moramarco also teaches a basketball physical education class. He is also a proctor for online courses administered by the high school.
The Vista team coached by Moramarco won the CIF Division I championship in 1994. Vista reached the CIF Division I final in 1996 and the CIF Division II final in 2018. The Panthers won league championships in 1995, 2000 and 2018.
Moramarco has been the league representative for girls' basketball for more than 20 years. He is on the CIF's girls' basketball advisory committee as well as on other CIF committees, and he was on the initial power rankings committee which determines playoff seeding.
During his first stint as Vista's girls' basketball coach Moramarco hosted a Christmas tournament and also a summer tournament. He still runs a summer league for North County and has done so since the 1990s.
"I even continued to run it when I wasn't the varsity coach," he said.
Moramarco said he relishes his status not only as a current coach but also as a former coach of Vista alumni.
"The best feeling I get is seeing my former players come back," he said.
The interaction with his former players focuses on memories rather than necessarily wins and losses.
"It makes me feel good about what I've been doing," Moramarco said.
Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected]