Board of Directors

The SoCal League’s Board of Directors have responsibility for organizational oversight as well as ensuring the League has the resources necessary to forward it’s mission. Board members are drawn from SoCal League parents, sponsors, coaches, and those who simply want to make sure that interscholastic mountain biking continues to grow and thrive in southern California! If YOU would like to contribute as a member of the SoCal League’s Board of Directors please send a note to matt@socaldirt.org.

Matt Gunnell, President & Executive Director

Matt bought his first mountain bike (a fully rigid Diamond Back Ascent) in 1985. He spent time in many jobs including water polo coach, school teacher, rock and roller, soldier, and police detective. Along the way he picked up a BA in Fine Art and an MPA in Public Administration along with time spent as a bike club President and bike race promoter (after quickly discovering he was better at putting races on than racing). After an injury forced transition from the police force he helped bring the SoCal League together as a member of the founding board. When the SoCal League was looking for its first Director Matt kept raising his hand and flailing it around wildly. He eventually secured the position by agreeing to work full time for free for a year. That said, Matt is passionate about cycling, about youth development (he founded and ran an Explorer Post and has a teen daughter), and about the magic that occurs when those two are mixed!

Jonathan Kaye, Vice President

Jonathan couldn’t believe something as great as High School mountain biking existed when he met Paula Rogers and John Tanklage at the CORBA Fat Tire Fest. After five minutes he knew he had to be involved with this sport and started sponsoring the Burroughs High School team. Jonathan enjoys riding with the team and supporting the students at races. He spends his weekdays at Kayo, manufacturing private label clothing for the major department stores. His apparel company is in downtown Los Angeles where he serves on the Board of the Weingart Center. The Weingart Center empowers and transforms lives by delivering innovative solutions to combat poverty and break the cycle of homelessness. After getting his three kids off to college, he and his wife Nancy moved to Malibu to enjoy the quiet nights and beautiful beaches. Jonathan rides the Santa Monica’s from his front door and hangs out with the riders from the Topanga Canyon Bike shop and the North Ranch Bikers.

Sean McCoy, Secretary

Sean McCoy began his racing career at the age of 4 in the sport of BMX. He raced as an Expert BMXer from the age of 12 to 16. At the same time that he was racing he began competing as an amateur surfer. At the age of 21, when the sport of mountain biking was emerging he began racing mountain bikes in the downhill and cross-country events. He joined the staff of Mountain Bike Action magazine in 1989 as an official tester and staff writer for the magazine. In 1992, he left the staff of the magazine to pursue his dream of being a professional surfer in Hawaii. He became the State’s fifth ranked long board surfer and was ranked 10th in the world. In 1995, he came back to California where he rejoined the staff of Mountain Bike Action Magazine. Since then he has been involved in the sport as both a member of the staff of Mountain Bike Action and later Road Bike Action Magazine and riding whenever he got the chance. That wasn’t easy being, a husband, father of three children and finishing up his BA in Business Administration. In 2007, between his kid’s soccer games and ballet classes, missing the competitive nature of the sport, he began once again to train and race. As soon as he heard about the effort to start competitive high school mountain bike teams with SoCal he knew he wanted to be involved. He has enjoyed volunteering on the track, helping the students and spreading the word to people in the industry.

Celia “Cici” Arenas

Cici found cycling in 2002 through the encouragement of her then boyfriend – now husband Andres. She was immediately hooked, and her passion led her to increase her involvement in the cycling community. As a member of the Pasadena Athletic Association Cycling Club she became a Board Member and founded the monthly Ladies Ride, which has had great success and continues to draw more women into cycling. Watching her 13 year old son’s eyes light up participating in his first cyclocross race in 2007, Cici knew Devin had found the same passion she had, but soon learned it wasn’t easy to find mountain bike organizations for youths. “Where will the next generation of cyclists come from?” she wondered. When she heard about the SoCal League she knew she had found her answer. Whether it’s late in life (like Cici) or early on (like Devin), her goal is to help parents and their children, find that passion for cycling and make it easily accessible to everyone.

Scott Craft

Scott is the current Athletic Director at Rim of the World High with 27 years of experience coaching. Mostly coaching wrestling, he has lead four CIF teams as well as individual placers to become champions at CIF Masters and State. He fell in love with mountain biking because of the similarities to wrestling such as sportsmanship, physical endurance, mental toughness and the individual and team aspects. Scott has a B.S. in Kinesiology and a Masters in Administration. He proudly started the first mountain bike team in SoCal at Rim High along with Jon Tanklage.

Roger Hernandez

I started cycling in 1995 at Aliso Woods and continue to ride those same trails smiling while riding.  Cycling has changed my life for the better and it continues to take me beautiful places, meet new friends, and feel like a kid. I raced MTB from 2000-2003 then managed a grassroots XC MTB team from 2005-2012. While managing the team I worked events for Kenda Tire under the watchful eye of MTB Hall of Famer Jim Wanamaker. I have been working for Kenda Tire full time since 2013 as the MTB and BMX Marketing Manager. I knew I wanted to get behind high school mountain biking when I was riding a local trail and came across a local team. Every kid rode past me respectfully, courteous, and happy. The SoCal League is good for the kids, good for the sport, and good for the cycling industry!

Bryan Rails

Bryan Rails, been on 2 wheels since 6, raced BMX till 18, raced desert and MX. Started the Tehachapi MTB high school teams in 2013 and was secretary for the local IMBA chapter and helped put together the Tehachapi race venue for SoCal.

Tim Tester

Tim has been on two wheels since age 6 and has experience in Motocross, BMX, dirt jumping, cross country mountain bike racing and road cycling. Tim is a ride leader for the North Ranch mountain bike group and also volunteers for the mountain bike group GGR (Girlz Gone Riding). Tim’s first exposure to High School mountain bike racing came about when introduced via e-mail to the Calabasas Team Director, who was in need of a coach to get the team race-ready for the SoCal league. After meeting the Director and her daughters, who are the driving force of the team, in person, Tim was instantly hooked on the idea of coaching their team. When not riding a bicycle, Tim enjoys spending time with his wife, who supports his cycling addiction and high school coaching 100%, playing various musical instruments, riding motorcycles and spending time with his 2 dogs. During the week, Tim works as a Registered Nurse with 20 years experience in healthcare including working as a Clinical Nurse Manager of an 30 bed acute inpatient unit.

         
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