Modesto Junior College dug deep into the Stanislaus District to pull three head coaches to lead its women’s basketball, women’s water polo and softball programs.
Rachel Finnegan, an assistant at Stanislaus State the last three years and Turlock High graduate, will head coach the basketball team. Erica Crain, who coached and prepped at Pitman High in Turlock, takes over the water polo program. Crystal Rizzuto, a former assistant at Ripon Christian, will guide the struggling softball team.
Finnegan helped guide Stanislaus State to two straight California Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament berths. MJC finished sixth in the Big 8 last year, going 6-10 in conference and 13-13 overall.
Finnegan played two seasons at San Jose State, earning Western Athletic Conference all-academic honors before transferring to Cal State East Bay, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. She has a master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University in Irvine.
Crain takes over a water polo team that finished second-to-last in the Big 8, going 2-8 in conference and 3-14 overall. She returns to a program she helped lead to a fifth-place state finish while earning MVP honors in Northern California. She earned All-American honors at Cal State East Bay, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Rizzuto, meanwhile, heads over a softball program that went 2-37 last season and included a 28-game losing streak. MJC didn’t win a game after Feb. 17 and was 0-24 in the Big 8 Conference.
She was an Atlantic Coast Conference all-tournament selection while at the University of Maryland and a four-time scholar-athlete. In addition to her coaching stint at Ripon Christian, she was head coach at Cesar Chavez High in Stockton for two years.
MJC KICKOFF DINNER — The annual Modesto Junior College Kickoff Dinner is Saturday, Aug. 18 in the Agriculture Center on the west campus. Coach Rusty Stivers and his assistant coaches will be there to answer questions. The dinner starts with a social at 6 p.m. followed by dinner, an auction and opportunity drawing at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 and include a 2018 season pass to MJC home games. The Pirates open the season at home against Laney College. Tickets can be purchased by going to mjc.edu/athletics and follow the links.
SPORTS SYMPOSIUM — Doctors Medical Center is hosing a sports medicine symposium on Aug. 25 at John Thurman Field. Modesto’s Suzy Powell, a former Olympic discus thrower, Modesto Nuts manager, surgeons, rehab specialists and more. DMC is urging athletic directors, coaches and intramural sports volunteers to attend. The free event includes lunch and a ticket to a Nuts game. To RSVP — by Aug. 22 — call 844-410-5857.