As new head coaches for Napa High School, Derek Moore will lead the cross country program for boys and girls and Ashiq Khan will direct the water polo program for boys and girls, Principal Annie Petrie announced this week.
Both are fall sports. Both Moore and Khan have been approved by the Napa Valley Unified School District’s board of education.
Moore, who is a member of the board of directors for the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon and the vice president of the Vinerunners, takes over for Roger Ruegg, a longtime coach, who is taking a year off to teach in Paris.
Khan, who has been an assistant coach for the last two years, will replace Kevin Rabb. Petrie said Rabb’s contract was not renewed and she would not elaborate further.
Moore has run two marathons – the 2006 Napa Valley Marathon, where his time of 3 hours, 9 minutes qualified him for the Boston Marathon. He ran a personal record time of 3:08:23 at the 2007 Boston Marathon.
“I think it’s exciting to have someone who is invested in our community and who is really going to buy into our mission at Napa High School. A genuine interest in developing young people in our community,” Petrie said of Moore, 47, who is a Napa resident and a freelance writer.
Moore has previously worked for the Napa Valley Register for four years and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat for 18 years as a staff writer.
Ruegg, who has also been an assistant coach for track and field, and his wife, Loreen Ruegg, have taught chemistry at Napa High. They have the option to return to Napa High.
“We honored that request for a year,” said Petrie. “They’re highly regarded educators. We wanted to support them in that.”
Moore, who is originally from Oklahoma, is a 1989 Vintage High graduate and went to Sacramento State, graduating in 1993 with a degree in journalism.
He was sponsored by the Napa Sunrise Rotary Club as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and received a post-graduate diploma in African Studies from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
As a distance runner, he has twice completed the Dipsea and other races of varying distances, including numerous half marathons and 10Ks.
It’s the first time he has been a high school coach.
“It’s a real honor, first of all,” he said. “To be able to step into this role, but to do so, surrounded by people, a really good team that is already in place, starting with the assistant coach, Eileen Smith. She’s been involved with the program for several years. I’m so happy that she is continuing in that capacity.”
“We’ve got great parent volunteers who really know the program and really can be there to help facilitate communication with the parents. And then the kids are just fantastic. They’re super proud about their academics.”
Moore assisted the Press Democrat, which won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the wildfires last fall. He assists in the finish-line area of the Napa Valley Marathon at Vintage High, is the secretary of the Parent-Faculty Club at Pueblo Vista Elementary School, and is the president of Local 39521 of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, which represent hundreds of journalists on the West Coast.
Moore and his wife, December, have two children: Jack, 10, and Claire, 8.
Khan, a Napa resident who works as a charter pilot for Napa Jet Center, played water polo in high school at Serra-San Mateo and in college for UC Santa Barbara as a driver and wing.
“I think anytime you can have someone who is already in the program step up to take the helm, it’s always a positive transition,” said Petrie.
“I’m just excited for our aquatics community. Our kids are real hungry, in water polo and swimming, to be a part of something special. We’re all about the kids here and trying to support them as best we can.”
Khan, 50, graduated from Serra in 1985 and has played internationally for a club team in Sydney, Australia.
“I’m looking to those kids that are interested, who may not have otherwise thought about water polo, and then allowing them to fulfill their dreams in that, as well as imparting some of the knowledge that I have and opening up opportunities for them that they may not have already recognized,” Khan said.
Napa will play its home matches this year at Vintage, because it’s a deep-water pool.
Khan has been a pilot for 19 years. He and his wife, Carol, have two children, Meena, 15, and Kaliq, 12.