Rio Hondo College Dean of Kinesiology, Dance, and Athletics/Athletic Director Steve Hebert has announced the hiring of Rene Herrera as the Roadrunners' new head coach of women's basketball. Herrera is a familiar face after serving as an assistant coach for the Rio Hondo women's program the last three seasons while also competing for two seasons on the men's basketball squad.
"The committee chose Rene based on his experience and enthusiasm," said Hebert. "He felt like the best 'fit' for the program. We feel that Rene will work very hard to provide a great experience for our student-athletes. We are happy to welcome him on staff and look forward to supporting the Lady Roadrunners next season. I believe he has the potential to be a fantastic coach for Rio Hondo for many years to come. "
Herrera brings over 12 years of coaching experience to the bench at Rio Hondo from various levels, including NCAA, community college, high school, and AAU youth club ball. But his ties to the college run deep. He recently served as an assistant coach for former Rio Hondo women's head coach Steve Johnson, was an assistant for Kathy Pudelko for one season in 2008-09, and was also on the Rio Hondo men's coaching staff for one year from 2005-06.
Following his prep career at nearby Downey High School, Herrera played two seasons (2001-03) for the Roadrunners under then-head coach Steve Hebert. He was an all-conference selection and team captain before transferring on to play at Whittier College.
Herrera is excited to continue his career in a place that has provided him so many opportunities in the past.
"This is a dream come true to be the next basketball coach at Rio Hondo College," said Herrera. "This is a familiar place where it all began for me as a player and now I am lucky enough to be able to mentor student-athletes and help them to the path of transferring and graduating from Rio Hondo as successful and complete individuals. I am excited for this great opportunity and am very thankful that President/Superintendent Teresa Dreyfuss, Dean of Athletics/Athletics Director Steve Hebert, the hiring committee, and the Board of Trustees showed the confidence in selecting me for this position."
At the high school level, Herrera's coaching resume includes stints at South El Monte, Mark Keppel, Schurr, and Pioneer. He most recently led South El Monte this last winter (2015-16) to a 19-8 overall record and a spot in the CIF Division 3A playoffs. At the four-year level, Herrera was an assistant coach at Chapman University from 2008-2013 and assisted at his alma mater Whittier College for two seasons from 2006-2008.
Herrera replaces Johnson as head coach of the women's program. Johnson recently moved from the women's side to take over as Rio Hondo's men's head coach after Mike Lowe stepped down from the position after four seasons.
Herrera is excited for what's ahead and is looking forward to future success for the program.
"My goal for this upcoming season is to have a team that is competitive for 40 minutes of every game," said Herrera. "I'm confident that our coaching staff will work hard to create a culture where students want to come to our program and compete day in and day out. Our long term goal for the future of this program is to develop a team where they will be able to compete each season within our tough basketball conference. There is a lot of talent within our college community and the staff will try their best to develop a relationship to bring student-athletes to our campus."