Coach McCandless- Head Coach PleasantonPaul McCandless has had extensive coaching, competitive racing, and recreational climbing endurance experience. He has completed five 50k runs and multiple 5ks, participated in the 1994 Biathlon National Championships, and raced mountain bikes for 2 years in the Expert category. He has climbed a swath of 14,000+ foot mountains in the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada. In addition, he has climbed Denali (Alaska), 21,310 ft; Bokra III (China) 18,500 ft; and Cotopaxi (Ecuador) 19,346 ft; and day-hiked the 42 mile Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim in the Grand Canyon in 17 hours. As a practitioner of lifelong athletics, Paul continues to participate routinely in community 5Ks, Nordic ski and biathlon races, and mountaineering endeavors.
Paul has been an assistant coach for the Mount Diablo Heat since 2011. In early 2016, as he retired from a 35-year career in Mechanical Engineering at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and had more time for his passion, he started head-coaching the Pleasanton Training Group. He received his Level I USATF coaching certification in January 2016, Level II USATF in youth specialization in July 2017 and Level II USATF Endurance in July 2018. With his background in endurance sports and education in youth development, he can help young athletes reach their potential with an emphasis on their long-term development and well-being.