SBVC cross country coach headed to Cal Poly Pomona

Wes Asfhord

Wes Ashford achieved everything he could have hoped for at the community college level, heading the San Bernardino Balley College cross country program. Now the popular is making a change, sort of.

Ashford has joined Cal Poly Pomona as assistant cross country and distance track coach. He will assist head track-cross country coach Octavious Gillespie-Bennett.

“It was the right time and the right place,” said Ashford, who ran collegiately at Brigham Young.
Ashford, 52, established a dynasty at SBVC in the last 10 years. The Wolverines have an active streak of 17 straight Foothill Conference titles.

More impressive is a streak of five consecutive state championships from 2006 to 2010. They were second in 2011 and fifth in 2012.

“Wes is the most successful junior college distance coach in California,” Gillespie-Bennett said, “We’re more than lucky to have him on our coaching staff.”

Ashford started his coaching career at Rancho Cucamonga High School, where he worked from 1997 to 2001. He guided the team to a Mt. Baldy Cross Country League title and the squad went undefeated in conference competition through his entire tenure.

Ashford will stay at SBVC, although his time will be more limited. His able assistant Jim Ratigan will assume more responsibility.

“I always found it hard to coach kids for two years, then pass them off to someone else,” he said. “I’m looking forward to being able to see kids through their whole college career.”