I had the honor and privilege of interviewing Coach John Kentera! I’d like to think of him as the golden voice of radio. For all of you who are not familiar with Coach Kentera (shame on you, just kidding), he is a sports radio broadcaster for XX1090 am radio. XX1090 is the home of the Padres and San Diego’s sports leader. Coach Kentera has a broadcast that is on from 8-11 pm Monday through Friday.
I was able to squeeze some time into John’s busy schedule and interview him in the studio, which is also John’s second home. John is a North San Diego native being the first graduating class of Torrey Pines High School in 1976. During high school Coach played football, basketball and baseball. After he graduated he went on to Mira Costa College and played basketball and baseball. With athletics running through his veins he continued on to USIU with a full athletic scholarship to play basketball. During his junior year he received a serious injury to his left knee, which then ended his athletic career. In 1979 Coach Kentera then went on to be a coach. He started coaching as Assistant Baseball Coach at Torrey Pines High School in 1979-1981. He went on to coach at Mira Costa College and Southwestern Community College. In the spring of 1985 Coach Kentera accepted the position as Assistant Basketball Coach and Recruiting Coordinator for Texas Tech University. After Texas Tech University he went on to lead several other teams to amazing seasons, and in 1987 John decided to bring his family back to beautiful San Diego. He went back to his alma mater ‘Torrey Pines’ and continued to coach for 7 more years.
In 1987 Coach Kentera began his radio career at 690 XTRA Gold which in 1990 turned into the legendary XTRA Sports 690 all-sports radio. I was able to speak candidly with Coach about when I was growing up my parents loved that show! So much so that my Mom would call into the station to talk sports with the broadcasters. It was awesome that I had memories of listening Coach Kentera’s show when I was young. Then when I attended high school, my Dad was a football coach and the first thing we did when we got in the car after a game was to tune into Coach’s high school postgame show.
Coach has had an amazing career in radio for over 20 years here in San Diego. I was very curious to know who were the Coach’s most memorable interviews. He told me that he has had so many but if he had to choose a few, his interview with; Coach John Wooden former UCLA Basketball coach, Herschel Walker former NFL player, Magic Johnson former NBA player, Ricky Williams NFL player from San Diego, Duke Snider former Major League Baseball player, Frank Robinson first black Manager in Major League Baseball and of course Tony Gwynn former San Diego Padre. Out of all of these great individuals Coach has been very close friends with Tony Gwynn and Ricky Williams.
When I first met the infamous Coach John Kentera he had just became the General Manager of the San Diego Sockers. The Sockers are San Diego’s indoor soccer team that plays in the Valley View Arena, also known as the Sports Arena here in San Diego where they started in 1978. This team has won several championships in the 80’s. This year is John’s 3rd year with the Sockers and he describes it as an amazing journey they have been on. The Sockers have recently set a US Professional Sports record for the most consecutive wins, when they reached 41 wins in a row. They have had over 42 wins so far. They have not lost a game since December of 2010! How crazy is that? They have not lost one game for over 2 years! This team has now over 4,000 attendee’s to their games and growing fast! For more information you can check them out at www.sdsockers.com.They were acknowledged on ESPN.com after their 41st win and now are going to be a part of a documentary being filmed by the Fox Sports Soccer Channel. The majority of the players are San Diego natives that live and work full-time here in San Diego.
Coach Kentera is very admirable due to his hard work, determination, love for sports, and big heart. He goes the extra mile with every meticulous detail about his job to insure his listeners quality broadcasting every minute he is on the air. A lot of work is put into what he does behind the scenes and I truly respect his drive and dedication that has been consistent for his entire career. John used coaching as an analogy for radio broadcasting in which a lot of his time is spent preparing and refining what he does, as well as keeping his listeners interested and loyal followers. Even though John might only be on the air for 3 hours each night he works an average 60-70 hours per week! That takes an unbelievable amount of tenacity to be so hard-working. He takes pride in what he does and is very hands on and he does not have an assistant. Coach explains the great feeling for the commendation he receives especially from parents whose athletes he speaks about, mentors and loves to follow.
Outside of the world of sports, John in a true family man at heart. He values every minute he spends with his family. He admires his wife, has two daughters and a 4-year-old granddaughter. His face was lit up with joy when he described watching his granddaughter play soccer on weekends. John’s eldest daughter was actually a Division 1 college soccer player. Coach has also started biking for a healthy hobby, but his favorite thing to do is relax and watch sports for the sheer enjoyment without having to take notes or study.
Again, I would like to express how happy and appreciative I was to be able to do this interview with Coach John Kentera. Coach Kentera is an amazing, humble, positive, and valuable asset to San Diego. His memorable voice is what his listeners will remember long after he retires. You can check out Coach Kentera at www.xx1090sandiego.com or you can always tune into his show at 1090 AM radio.