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Reluctant coach is a winner Robert Moreno | Sat, Dec 28 2013 12:00 PM

Coach Kenneth Boulton’s legacy isn’t defined by the number of CIF banners hanging from the gym’s rafters or the number of championship rings on his fingers.

Compared to the jocks, Boulton said his athletes are not the popular kids in school.

But go and see the number of decathlon trophies at Olympian High, not including the five championships that he won at Southwest High, and there is no question he is a winner.

He once coached the Academic League for his alma mater at Southwest High School.
When the principal for the school at the time was looking for a new decathlon coach, he offered the job to Boulton.

But Boulton, 41, was reluctant.

“I really had no interest in becoming the decathlon coach,” he said.

He was happy as the Academic League coach.

After all, the only real decathlon experience Boulton had was the one year he participated on the team for Southwest High School, although he never actually competed.

He was just part of the team.

But the principal wouldn’t take no for an answer and kept pestering Boulton to take the job.

Finally Boulton gave in, at least temporarily, so he thought.

“I did accept the position,” he said. “Originally the plan was for me to be coach just for a year to make for a smooth transition for somebody new.”

Little did Boulton know history was being written.

That first year of coaching decathlon at Southwest High school, Boulton lead the team to its highest ever ranking, finishing fourth overall in the county.

What began as a one-year proposition as decathlon coach ended up being five consecutive county championships in a seven-year span at Southwest High.

Then the principal who convinced Boulton to coach the decathlon team left for the then-newly built Olympian High School.

Using their relationship, the principal once again offered Boulton a job. This time at Olympian High School as a teacher, not a coach.

And Boulton, once again, was hesitant.

“I was very happy at Southwest High School,” he said.

But after seeing the bigger picture, Boulton said the opportunity to teach advanced placement U.S. government at Olympian was just too good to pass up.

“The decision to go to Olympian High School was solely a teacher-based decision,” he said. “It (the school) had openings and opportunities that I would have had to sit and wait for at Southwest High.”

He said leaving his beloved Southwest High was one of the most difficult decisions he had ever made.

Two years into teaching at Olympian the competitive juices started flowing again.

He not only wanted to be Mr. Boulton but coach Boulton once again.

With no decathlon team at Olympian High School, Boulton had to build the program from scratch.

The team won the county championship in their first year.

“Our first year, people didn’t expect us to have as much success as we did,” he said.

While Boulton considers himself a teacher first and a coach second, he said most people on campus recognize him for his success in decathlon.

“If anyone were to ask you who I am, decathlon coach is what I’m most associated with,” he said.

Coach Boulton and his teams have won the declathon four years straight.

Now in his sixth year coaching the Olympian team, Boulton hopes to continue his championship run on Feb. 1 when his team is set to compete in the county’s decathlon tournament.

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