Schindler is new Sacred Heart Cathedral wrestling coach

SHC will have a new wrestling coach for the 2016-2017 season.

SHC will have a new wrestling coach for the 2016-2017 season.

By John Murphy 

Jack Schindler is the new wrestling coach at Sacred Heart Cathedral. Schindler is an SHC grad.

Schindler also is the strength and conditioning coach at the school and is the defensive coordinator for the freshman football team.

SHC went 2-4 in the West Catholic Athletic League in wrestling in 2015-2016.


Archbishop Riordan, wrestling community mourns passing of beloved coach, referee

Coach Alex

By John Murphy

Archbishop Riordan High wrestling and the wrestling community in general is mourning the passing of Abraham (Alex) Ostrovskiy who died in his sleep at his San Francisco home on Monday night.

Said a Riordan social media post regarding the Russian immigrant and former Crusader assistant coach: “We were blessed to have had Abram (Alex) Ostrovskiy as a coach for a decade and as a friend and fan for many more years. It is with sadness we announce his passing but it is with gratitude we appreciate the opportunity to have known such and amazing and inspirational man.”

A picture Prep2Prep has located on the Internet of Ostrovskiy shows a diminutive, chiseled man with a deadly serious countenance.  He began his wrestling career in his native Soviet Union, survived the Nazi invasion during World War II and was a member of the Soviet team in the mid-1950s.

He competed and coached internationally and became known for his superior technical wrestling and later received high rankings as a wrestling official both in his homeland and later in the United States after arriving here more than 35 years ago.

Said of Ostrovskiy: “The walls of his modest apartment are covered with animal hoofs and horns, ceremonial swords and numerous other awards – the honors bestowed up him by tournaments and organizations across the globe.”

Former longtime Riordan wrestling coach Vittorio Anastasio, now the school’s principal, met Ostrovskiy at a meet in the early 1990s, one thing led to another and Ostrovskiy became a Riordan assistant coach.

“We’d bring him to tournaments and the kids liked him so he became an assistant,” Anastasio said. “He was able to practice his English and help the team and also referee on an international level. He was a highly recognized referee.”

Failing health hindered Ostrovskiy in recent years but, even after a heart attack, he was back on the mat officiating n a matter of weeks.

“He was just a tough guy,” Anastasio said. “We feel happy and blessed to have known him. He had some phenomenal stories about being a Russian Jew and living in Russia during World War II and being separated from his family and how he didn’t speak until age 8 because of all the trauma he went through. That’s why it was good for him to get involved in wrestling because it created a new family for him.”

Part of that extended family was at Riordan High where Crusader wrestling enthusiasts and Anastasio plan to attend Ostrovskiy’s memorial service at 1 p.m. today (April 14) at Olivet Memorial Park at 1601 Hillsdale Blvd. in Colma.


Sun, surf, coaches’ openings in Monterey Bay

The next thing North Salinas would like to latch onto is a new football coach.

The next thing North Salinas would like to latch onto is a new football coach.

By John Murphy 

It’s not just the Bay Area where prominent coaching positions are vacant. Down in that other bay region – the Monterey Bay – there are at least four football jobs and one basketball post that are as empty as yesterday’s coffee cup.

Earlier this month Steven Zenk resigned from the North Salinas football job. When I first met him – well the only time I met him – he was coming up on the short end of a 59-34 first-round playoff game with powerhouse host Los Gatos. Now Zenk is leaving the Vikings after nine seasons capped by an impressive 7-4 effort in 2013.

Said Zenk by e-mail: “I felt like we had left the program in great shape for the future and I could step down now with a clear conscience. It’s been hard since my son was born 6 years ago to keep up the hours and the time necessary to be successful … it’s a 24-7 job between everything that you have to do: fundraising, academics, football, etc. I wanted to step down four years ago but I didn’t want to leave the cupboard bare for the next guy.”

Well, he hasn’t. The Viking junior varsity went 10-0 last season and the freshmen 7-2-1.

Other open football jobs down in the 831 are North Monterey County which has been vacant since the end of last season and Alisal. The latter popped open Wednesday when Cory Costanza resigned, according to published reports in the Salinas and Monterey newspapers.

Nobody at Alisal was available for comment, but Costanza told the Salinas Californian he is resigning for “personal reasons.”

Alisal went 2-8 overall and 0-6 in the rugged Monterey Bay League-Gabilan in Costanza’s only season as the helm. Getting releagued into the Gabilan before last season didn’t help Costanza’s cause.

Farther north, in Santa Cruz County, the Soquel football job is still open after longtime Knights coach Ron Myers returned to Watsonville High. Myers began his long stint in the county with the Wildcatz in 1984 before moving on. I was the Watsonville sports editor then and we called them the Wildcats (with an “s”). Of course back then the 831 area code was the 408, but I digress.

The coaching carousel has also spun wildly, as we know, in San Jose and on the peninsula. Some jobs have been filled, but there were still openings at Andrew Hill, Gunderson, Independence and Carlmont. I hope I’m not missing anybody.

Finally, San Benito High athletic director Tod Thatcher informed Prep2Prep Thursday he’s seeking a replacement for David Kaplansky, who took the men’s basketball job at Gavilan College, according to the Hollister Freelance. San Benito went 21-5 last season, so that’s a good job.

Said Thatcher: “We are looking for a motivated, experienced head coach to lead a very successful boys varsity program. Our team reached the semi-finals of this year’s CCS playoffs and is completely supported by our school administration and community.”

Don’t know the Double-Wing from a hot wing, but can teach the pick ‘n’ roll? Hollister beckons you.

Next man up: Wondering who all those new football coaches are? Let’s review …

Archbishop Mitty: Dave Brown; Capuchino: Ben White; Evergreen Valley: Ernie Mendoza; Lynbrook: Alan Vinciguerra; Overfelt: Carlo Maningo; Mt. Pleasant: Victor Avelar; Westmont: Mark Kaanapu; Palo Alto: Jake Halas; Terra Nova: Tim Adams; Watsonville: Ron Myers; South San Francisco: Jay Oca; Woodside: Justin Andrews; Silver Creek: Eric Luescher; The King’s Academy: Mike Johnson.

Updates? Please write to

Adams and Myers are the only newbies I remember from back in the day, so 2014 should be interesting.

Good sports: Oakland Tech’s Aaliyah Douglas and Drake’s Mitchell Young are the 2013-14 CIF-State Spirit of Sport winners. They receive an award, $2,000 and a trip to the CIF-Federated banquet in Southern California in early May. Nice event.

Sonoma dreamin’: Pinewood senior basketball star Leeana Bade committed to Sonoma State, according to a recent social media posting by Bade. She averaged 9.9 points and 6.5 rebounds in helping her team to the state D-5 title.

Briefly: Mitty sophomore volleyball standout Lauren Speckman has committed to Marquette, tweeted@monarchvball … Gilroy running back Brandon Boyd signed with Pacific University in Oregon, according to the Gilroy Dispatch … Bellarmine outfielder Tyler Bindi will be a preferred walk-on at St. Mary’s, Prep2Prep ace student reporter Jack Duffy said.

John Murphy is the Web Content Editor of Prep2Prep, He may be reached at