Coaches Return to Alma Mater to Guide Student Athletes


Sergio Plascencia and Deo Sy (Photos: Johnny Ruiz)

Life after college leads a path to a whole new world. Some even decide to come back and pursue a career at their alma mater.

Vigen Jilizian attended GCC 1988 to 1990, earning a degree in sociology in 1993 from UC Davis. Jilizian is the head coach of men’s basketball and loves being back home.

“It was a great opportunity for me to be able to work in this same community in which I have built so many long-lasting relationships,” Jilizian said. “I was able to reunite with many of the people that worked at Glendale College from my days as a student-athlete. It’s also a very comfortable and familiar place for me to work.”

For assistant baseball coach Sergio Plascencia, who attended GCC in 2013 and earned a degree in general studies from University of Dayton, the best part of being back is the group of coaches and returning to the field every day.

“The coaching staff here is amazing and the guys and I get along well,” Plascencia said. “Then being a part of that team atmosphere. And having a group of guys who buy in and have the same type of ambitions that you have.”

His brother and assistant coach, Jordan Plascencia, who attended GCC in 2002, said his experience as a student-athlete at GCC helped him with leading the guys down the right path.

“It helps me tremendously because I’ve been through what their going through right now. So any little advice I can pass on to them is only going to benefit them in the long run,” Plascencia said. “Whether it’s on the field or in the classroom we can relate to them.”

Alex Kocol, who attended GCC in 2002, is a political science professor and coaches the baseball infielders and outfielders. He earned a degree in philosophy and and political science from UCLA.

“Just seeing guys move on. Whether it’s academics or baseball, just following them and seeing them have success on the field or in the classroom,” Kocol said.

Women’s tennis coach Deo Sy attended GCC from 1997 to 2000 and earned a degree in physical education from Azusa Pacific University. He loves being able to be of assistance to his student athletes,

“I did not realize then how demanding the coaching profession could be, not only are you helping student athletes on the court, but more importantly, off the court,” Sy said. “I’ve come to appreciate what the coaching profession has to offer, the ability to impact others. The most rewarding event a coach will witness is seeing an individual struggle and overcome these obstacles.”