Bill Shields

Bill Shields, Hall of Fame Coach

Bill Shields, Hall of Fame Coach

The Goleta School Disrrict and the boys and girls who participated in the Valley Elementary League are lucky that founder Bill Shields learned to bob and weave at a young age. Bill did not have a lot ofsuccess as a Pasadena High School basketball player, so he decided he wanted to try amateur boxing. He was trained by the legendary blind boxing coach, Canto Robledo, in Robeledo’s backyard gym in Pasadena. During his boxing tenure, he competed in both lightweight and welterweight division tournaments. Bill won weight division championships in 4 tournaments. What is remarkable is that he was a finalist in every boxing tournament he entered.

Bill graduated from UCSB in 1957 and earned a Master’s Degree from usc in 1962. He was hired by the Goleta School District in 1957, where he taught 6rh grade at Cathedral Oaks, drove the school bus and developed a boys and girls after school athletic pro- gram. He organized the Valley Elem ntary League, where boys and girls teams, coached by fellow teachers and parents, competed against one another on Satur- day mornings in Goleta.

Sportsmanship, fair play and citizenship were emphasized pre-, during, and post-game. The program was an overnight success. Bill’s school won championships in flag football, basketball, softball; volleyball and track. After 19 years, when the Valley League was no longer needed, Bill organized and coached noon leagues at Hollister and La Patera schools. What was unique was that these teams were all co-ed.

Bill Shields coached hundreds of boys and girls in all sports. He was a truly visionary coach by promoting girls to participate in competitive sports 15 years before the implementation of Title IX. His young athletes remember his love of sport and his caring attitude toward athletes of every ability level. Bill retired from teaching in 1990 and now enjoys watching his 4 grandchildren play soccer… a game they have to explain to him!