Meet the T&F Coaching Staff

Rick McGuire

Rick McGuire – Head T/F Coach

Subjects: Civics/Economics and Criminal Justice
Education: B.S. in Criminal Justice, Minor in Economics – California State University Bakersfield; M.A. in Secondary Education – University of Phoenix
Phone (661) 943-3255 Ext: 438
Contact Preference: E-mail:
Teaching Experience: 14 (all at Paraclete)
Co-curricular responsibilities: Fall Assistant Athletic Director, Mock Trial Moderator, Letterman’s Club Moderator

As an athlete: Coach McGuire was a Varsity letter winner (Football, Wrestling, Track & Field) in three different high schools (South Torrance, McLane, and El Centro). He has lifetime PR’s of 47’3″ in the Shot Put and 11.2 in the 100yd Dash.

Coach McGuire, with USATF Level 1 certification, is in his 14th season (2004-2017) as the Spirits Head Track & Field Coach. During that time, McGuire has won 11 League Championships (10 Alpha, 1 Gold Coast) with both Boys and Girls teams, the boys being undefeated since 2005. In through-the-season League Meets, McGuire’s teams have amassed records of 54-2 for the Boys and 41-1 for the Girls.

Achievements of McGuire’s teams beyond League:
2008-2009 – Girls teams back-to-back 3rd place – CIF Division IV Championships
2009 – Girls team was the first in Paraclete history to qualify for CIF State Track & Field Championships, with both Individual and Relay athletes participating. Melanise Chapman (100m, 6th and All-State honors in 200m); Siera Hearne (Pole Vault); Mariah Gibson, Chelsey Washington, Ashley Woodford, Saedra Wright (4X100m, 6th and All-State honor in 4X400m)
2010 – Siera Hearne (Pole Vault) CIF State Championship qualifier; 2010 National Championships qualifier
2014 – with McGuire as Sprint coach the boys team of Triston Brown, James Holland, Micah Robinson and Branden Smith won the CIF Division IV title (4X100m, 42.41)

McGuire as Coach of Individual Athletes:
Individual CIF Champions: Shot Put: 1983-84 – Cassandra Dumas; 2008 – Saibra Noel; 2010 – Branden Owen; and Discus: 2010 – Branden Owen (Paraclete’s only CIF Title holder in that event)
School record holders: 2010 – Girls Shot Put; 2012 – Girls Discus; 2014 – Boys 4X100, 400m; 2015 – Boys Sprint Medley
Spirits All-Time Track & Field List: Girls Shot Put (5 of 10 athletes); Boys Shot Put (3 of 10 athletes); Boys and Girls discus (7 of 10 athletes)

Other Sports: Coach McGuire has been associated with Spirits sports programs for parts of the last 30 years, including coaching the school’s last Wrestling team (1980) to a 2nd place finish in the Desert-Inyo League Championships. He also owns three CIF Championships for Football, as an Assistant Coach (1997, 1998, 1999).

Coach McGuire and his wife Suzanne (formerly Orr, Paraclete Class of 1978) have three children: Morgan (Paraclete Class of 2000), Amanda (Paraclete Class of 2001) and Peter (Paraclete Class of 2006).


Mariah Gibson

Mariah Gibson – Assistant Coach (Jumps, Sprints)


Coach Gibson is a graduate of Paraclete (2009) where she was a member of the Girl’s Basketball and Track & Field teams, winning a varsity letter in both sports.

Gibson was an Alpha League Champion all 4 years in Track, a member of the 4x100m relay team that placed 6th in the CIF State Championship Meet and the 4x400m team that qualified for the State Meet in the 2008-09 season. She was team Captain two years and a Scholar Athlete.

She holds Paraclete school records in the 4x100m, 4x400m, and HJ; and is among the Top 10 All-Time in the 400m, 200m, 300mH, and 100mH.

Coach Gibson attended UCLA where she graduated (Class of 2013) with a B.A. in Sociology and was also part of the Women’s Track and Field team. Her main event was the High Jump. She competed in the NCAA Prelims in the High Jump (2010, 2011, 2013); and placed 1st in the USC/UCLA duel meet, April 27, 2013, jumping to her Personal Best of 5’10 ¾.

This is Coach Gibson’s first year coaching and she is excited to be a part of the team!


Andy Helme

Andy Helme – Assistant Coach (Distance, Mid-Distance)

Contact: or (661) 406-0590 (voice or text)

Coach Helme has been the Head Cross Country Coach at Paraclete since the Fall 2007 season, and the Middle Distance and Distance Coach for the Track & Field Team since the prior Spring of 2007.

In Cross Country, 2011 grad Melissa Bauer was a 2-time All State Selection, with 7th and 4th place finishes in the ’07 and ’08 meets, respectively. Melissa was also the 2007 CIF Division IV Individual Champion. Most recently the 2012 Girls Team took 6th place at the State Meet, setting a school team time record in the process. Edwin Flores (’08 grad; 7th place for All-CIF in 2007), the 2007 Boys Team (9th place at State, school team time record), and the 2010 Girls Team (12th place at State) are other notable performances. The Girls squad has won every League Championship under Coach Helme, and the Boys have won 7 of 10 titles.

He has coached several athletes to the CIF Finals on the track, including 2009 CIF Runner-up in both the 800m and 4×400 relay, Wesley Washington. Edwin Flores (1600m, 3200m), Melissa Bauer (1600m, 3200m), Ricky Ruelas (4x400m), Sabrina Huelga (4x400m), Melanie Fujiwara (3200m twice), Madison Grenier (800m, 4x400m), Miles Robinson (4x100m, 4x400m), Matthew Kern (800m, 4x400m twice), Matt Theologidy (4x400m), Tyler Schatz (800m, 4x400m), Mariah Theologidy (3200m twice), and Aadonis Solomon (110H) have also been CIF participants while under Helme’s guidance. There have been a total of 33 school records established by the contributions of Helme’s runners over the past 10 seasons.

Coach Helme ran competitively at Westerville South High School and Kent State University, both in Ohio. At Kent State, he was a member of the 2000 Mid American Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championship Team, finishing 4th in both the 800m (1:52.69) and 4x400m relay (3:12.39). The Kent State team was also ranked 12th nationally in the final team Power Rankings by the NCAA. Coach Helme finished his career ranked 9th on the All Time Kent State list at 800 meters. He was also a 2 time All MAC Academic selection.

In High School he qualified to the State Meet three times each in Cross Country and Track, while earning All State honors at 800m (1:55.10) with a 4th place finish in 1995. He is the only Varsity athlete in WSHS history to be a part of every League (’93 CC, ’96 T&F) and District (’92 CC, ’95 & ’96 T&F) Championship Team in both sport’s combined histories. Coach Helme was inducted onto his high school’s “Top Cat Wall” Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996.

Coach Helme has lifetime personal bests of 48.9 (400m) and 1:52.64 (800m).

Education and Teaching Experience: Coach Helme earned his B.S. in Elementary Education from Kent State in 2000, and a M.A. in Special Education from CSUB in 2006. He currently teaches a Special Education class at Amargosa Creek Middle School in Lancaster.

He and his wife, Amy (formerly Harrington, Paraclete Class of 1996) have three children: Brant (Paraclete Class of 2014), Charlotte (Paraclete Class of 2025), and Agnes (Paraclete Class of 2030).


Kaitlin Huerta

Kaitlin Huerta – Assistant Coach (Distance, Mid-Distance)

Subjects: Religion
Education: B.A. in Secondary Education (emphasis in Extended English) – University of Arizona (2011); M.A. in Religious Studies – Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles (2016)
Teaching experience: 1 year English and coaching – Sunnyside High School – Tucson, AZ; 4 years at Paraclete
Co-curricular responsibilities: Social Justice Club, Liturgy Choir

Coach Huerta, a USATF Level 1 Certified coach, has just finished her fifth season (2016) as an Assistant Cross Country coach and is beginning her fifth season (2017) as a Track & Field Assistant, coaching 1600m and 3200m athletes and supervising Weight Room activities.

She is a graduate of Paraclete (Class of 2007)

During her Spirits Track & Field career she participated in 800m, 1600m, 3200m, DMR, 4X800m relay, and 4X1600m relay.

In Cross Country she was the 2005 Alpha League Champion and MVP, and that year at the Bell-Jeff Invitational ran her Cross Country lifetime PR (18:31).

In 2006, Coach Huerta was the Alpha League MVP and Champion in both the 1600m (lifetime PR 5:28) and 3200m (lifetime PR 11:38).  In 2007 she was again the League champion in the 1600m.


Brett Nelson

Brett Nelson – Assisting with (Sprints, Hurdles)

Contact: or text (661) 810-3415

Coach Nelson is assisting with the Paraclete Track and Field program in the areas of Sprints and Hurdles.

Born in Chicago, IL, he moved with his family to Fullerton, CA when he was in the 6th grade. At age 14, he began working at the Fullerton Steer ’N Stein restaurant; subsequently owning for several years, along with his wife Jennifer, the Steer ’N Stein in Palmdale.

He was graduated from Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton where he was on the football and wrestling teams. Following graduation he returned to Sunny Hills as a wrestling coach.

Also in Fullerton, he earned a Black Belt in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, taught by a Master in Kung Fu from the Shaolin Temple in China.

Coach Nelson’s coaching career spans several years and sports – including coaching several family members in football (Highland Youth Football and Paraclete – seasons ’13, ’14 and ’15), baseball (Quartz Hill Little League), rodeo and Gymkhana (High School Rodeo – Leona Valley, Antelope Valley Desert Riders, Acton Rangers) and track (High Desert Heat youth track in Lancaster, and Paraclete).

In addition to his current coaching activities, Coach Nelson remains active in a Men’s Softball League, competitive riding and roping, golf, and snow skiing.

Coach Nelson and his wife Jennifer have 5 children – Kirbylee is an Internal Medicine physician who will began July 1, 2016 a 1 year Fellowship in the Gastroenterology Department at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Brett (Paraclete Class of 2014, now at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo); Sarah (Quartz Hill High School Class of 2015, now on the equestrian team at West Hills Community College in Coalinga, CA); Zack (aka Z-Dawg) currently a senior (Class of 2017 at Paraclete – a member of the football team (Defensive Back) and track team (110m and 300m hurdles and Sprints); and Tyler a sophomore at Highland High School, who plays volleyball.


Terrell Smith

Terrell Smith – Assistant Coach (Sprints/Hurdles)


Coach Smith was welcomed to the Paraclete Track & Field program in the 2015 season as a volunteer. Prior to that, he coached youth football and club track for several years. In 2016 he joined the Paraclete Track & Field staff as Assistant Coach (Sprints/Hurdles).

Coach Smith was an All-Conference high school basketball athlete who earned several accolades, including first team all-league and the CIF City Championship. Running track for the first time in the 10th grade, coach Smith held the 110m hurdle record with a 14.2 (FAT) at Granada Hills High School. He also competed in several other events, including 300m hurdles, High Jump (6’-4”), Long Jump, Triple Jump and relays.

After high school, Coach Smith attended Glendale Community College where he played basketball and ran track for one season before pursuing his career in the Creative Arts industry. At age 18, he landed a job at the Daily News as a full-time Staff Artist, while maintaining a full course of classes to finish his Associate in Arts degree. To honor his grandparents by being the first college graduate in his family, Coach Smith resigned from his job at the Daily News to obtain his Bachelors of Arts degree from California State University, Northridge.

Currently with over 25 years of experience, Coach Smith develops high-end marketing campaigns for some of the most recognized brands.

He and his wife, Mia, have two children – Branden currently a senior at PHS, competing in both Football and Track & Field; and Brianna, a sophomore at PHS competing in Track & Field.