Doug Courtemarche was a longshoreman in Long Beach, a submariner off the coast of Russia spying for the United States during the Vietnam War, a revenue collector for the IRS for 22 years, a counselor for the Veterans Administration and an anthropology major in college.
So I guess you could see why Courtemarche, as Santa Rosa’s cross country coach, recently received CIF’s highest coaching honor, the Model Coach Award.
Or maybe not.
Courtemarche is the living, breathing example of how a life doesn’t have to be logical, just consequential. The stress of having knocked on doors and asked for money, sometimes with uniformed gun-in-holster IRS officers as backup, has made being a cross country and track coach a walk in the park.
People with money issues trump, every time, teenagers with teenage issues. And spying on the Soviets, well, Courtemarche didn’t need caffeine to stay awake on that assignment.
All of which you would never know to meet Courtemarche. He doesn’t volunteer his ego; you have to bring it out of him.
So, why is he a role model?
“I’ve asked myself that question many times,” Courtemarche said.
“You were named a community hero in 1996, a honor that enabled you to carry the Olympic Torch,” I said. “How did you get to be a hero?”
“I’ve also asked myself that question many times,” he replied.
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Doug Courtemarche synonymous with Model Coach