LIVERMORE -- After leading the Amador Valley High girls volleyball program for 17 years run, Rich Cortez has headed home.
A graduate of Granada and a resident of Livermore, Cortez has taken a teaching job at Granada and is taking over both the Matadors' girls and boys volleyball programs.
The timing was key. Cortez' oldest child will play volleyball as a freshman at Granada, and the family lives close enough to the school so he can ride his bike.
"It's pretty cool," Cortez said. "People that know me aren't surprised. It has nothing to do with volleyball. It effects volleyball, but it wasn't the reason for the decision. It was about coming home."
And the timing of the move is allowing Cortez to not only take over the girls program, but he is also taking over the boys program.
"I've always wanted to coach guys, so coming here it will be easier to do both," Cortez said. "I'll be home earlier and still be able to do things like coach my son's T-ball team."
Cortez had a lot of success at Amador Valley, including 130 wins and two North Coast Section titles in the last six years, so leaving was not easy.
"This is a great opportunity, but it was tough to leave Amador," Cortez said. "It's hard to leave the volleyball team, friends I work with and my whole comfort zone. I'm happy with what I accomplished at Amador."
Cortez cited family as the main reason for his decision.
"For my family it was a great opportunity and consequently great opportunity for me," Cortez said. "I said forever that I wasn't going to be the dad that misses his kids stuff. I want to be the best dad I can be and be there for my wife."