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Mark Loureiro Honored As Model Coach
As if putting more than 200 wins on the books, earning multiple league and Section titles and being selected as a state Football Coach of the Year in his career wasn't enough, Mark Loureiro has now been selected as a Model Coach by the Sac-Joaquin Section.

The announcement came from the Section office, with Loureiro one of six coaches from the Section honored as being a role model on and off the field.

"I was very surprised, very happy," Loureiro admitted. "It's an amazing award ... I'm in real special company."

Loureiro is the first Trans-Valley League coach to be selected as a Model Coach in the program's history, which stretches back to the 2001-2002 school year. This year's class includes LaDeane Hansten of Sonora, Loureiro, Len Marks of Marysville, Vicky Saterlee of Colfax, Elizabeth Saunders of Vintage and Jack Thomson of Sierra.

"I think it was a combination of longevity, the committees I've served on, the success of our program, the rapport with colleagues," Loureiro said of what he believes may have prompted his selection.

For friend and fellow coach Greg Largent, it goes deeper than that.

"He's a highly organized individual, a great motivator, not only for his own teams but for all our sports, whatever it may be, he's very supportive," Largent said. "He also does a great job as our Athletic Director."

Largent said Loureiro serves as 'the eyes' for many coaches on campus, keeping tabs on student athletes to make sure they are maintaining their academic eligibility so they can stay with their team. A teacher at El Portal, Largent is the varsity baseball coach at the high school and said Loureiro is invaluable when it comes to staying on top of the students' academics. He's also doing many of those behind-the-scenes things that make the athletic programs run smoothly.

"I don't think he gets enough credit," added Largent. "There's rescheduling of rained out games, there's transportation, there's the calling of umpires and lining up officials ... I could go on and on."

What Loureiro instills in his athletes is a desire to represent not only the high school but the entire Escalon community as a Cougar, bringing honor and tradition to the playing field.

"His kids go through walls for him," Largent noted.

Loureiro graduated from Escalon High School and came back to his alma mater to teach 24 years ago. He currently teaches students with special needs. He coached freshman basketball for seven years, was assistant baseball coach under his dad Bob Loureiro for 15 years and has been the varsity football coach for 21 years, amassing 212 wins over that period. He also has served as Athletic Director for the past decade.

Loureiro was chosen as the Trans-Valley League representative to the Section, where he was selected as one of this year's six honorees from among all the schools in the Section, to be recognized at an awards breakfast next April.

"It's an outstanding selection," said Escalon Unified School District Superintendent Dave Mantooth. "Over the years Mark has grown into a really valued leader, his input is sought on everything from football, sports matters, eligibility ... he's been on statewide committees, his opinion is valued."

Mantooth said he has also set a high standard for his players.

"You expect them to compete well, and compete fairly," Mantooth said. "I've had the pleasure of working with him for the last 20 years, he was a young man, just starting out when he got here and it has been a real pleasure to see him grow into a confident, successful individual."

In a public school, Mantooth added, you get players of varying degrees of ability and Loureiro's talent is making it work, year in and year out.

"You don't get the same level of kids every year but his system builds on the strength of the kids," Mantooth explained. "He motivates them to work hard.

"We're very, very proud."