The hall of fame beckons Brent Bohlender … again.
The former Modesto-area water polo and swim coach will be enshrined by a third organization on Saturday evening in Sacramento.
Already a member of the Sac-Joaquin Section and USA Water Polo halls of fame, Bohlender, who coached for more than 40 years at three high schools in the city of Modesto, will be honored by the California Coaches Association during a dinner ceremony at The DoubleTree in the Capital City.
The festivities begin at 5 p.m. Tickets are available www.calcoachesassociation.net for $65.
“It’s a culmination of 40-plus years of being involved with coaching,” Bohlender said. “Anytime your peers recognize what you’ve done, it’s humbling. It’s an honor to be in the same class with a lot of coaches from here going back to the ’60s.”
The California Coaches Association will also recognize its state coaches of the year in every sport, among them Northern California Volleyball Coach of the Year Kristen Pontes-Christian of Pitman, who has guided the Pride to three consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championships.
Only three teams in the history of the section have accomplished that feat: Davis of Yolo (1983-85), St. Mary’s (1991-96) and Nevada Union (2002-08).
Bohlender is the winningest high school coach in state history, regardless of sport. He amassed a record of 1,666-618-3 during coaching career that spanned four decades and three public schools: Beyer, Davis and Johansen.
“I feel good that it was done at public schools and in one community,” Bohlender said. “Those were always positive things for me.”
Bohlender was 697-161-2 in 29 seasons as a girls water polo coach, and his boys water polo teams were 615-341 in 32 seasons. His swim teams were 354-116-1.
He enjoyed some of his greatest successes as the Johansen girls water polo, guiding the Vikings to four consecutive Division I titles from 1996-99. During that stretch, Johansen won 128 consecutive matches, one of the longest winning streaks in the nation.
Bohlender was inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame in 2001 and was an inaugural member in the section hall in 2010.
On Saturday, he’ll be joined by Bellarmine Prep swim and water polo coach Larry Rodgers, Mendo-Atherton basketball coach Pam Wimberly, Yreka cross country and track coach Jim Eckerman, and Lowell baseball coach John Donahue.
“I don’t think anybody goes into coaching thinking these are the things that will happen,” he said. “You want good teams, good athletes and you want to develop them.
“There are a lot (moments), ranging from the kid setting a best time, the kid scoring a goal and the kid getting section MVP. There’s this broad spectrum, because you watch kids develop and grow at their own particular pace.”