Thursday, December 18, 2014

Herenda’s many marriages make sports a better place


From page B1 | November 30, 2012 |

You know him as one of the voices of Aggie radio and television.

He’s the executive director of Sacramento’s branch of the Positive Coaching Alliance and, together with his wife Mary Ellen, has created his own family volleyball dynasty at El Camino High School.

Once you hear his commanding broadcast voice, you know you’re listening to Bill Herenda. Once you sit and chat everything sports with the guy, you know you’ve met the Real Deal.

“To me, athletics is something I was born into and fell in love with,” Herenda told me, his enthusiastic baritone bringing me along for a memorable conversation over morning coffee. “And what a great way to bring people together. … (Sports) is a great galvanizer.”

Herenda, 46,  is a native of Jersey City, N.J. His grandfather, Bill Bergin, and great uncle, Tony Callandriello, played barnstorming baseball with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

Herenda and his brother Greg played basketball at storied St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey and gravitated to UMass-Lowell, where Bill played on the national championship 1988 squad. Brother Greg remains in Lowell as the school’s men’s basketball coach.

Herenda’s love affair with sports continued with, well, a love affair. Bill and Mary Ellen (UC Davis gridiron legend Ken O’Brien’s sister) have three daughters — Bridget, Clare and Devin — all of whom are standout volleyball players.

Bridget attends UCD, Clare is at Sacramento State and Devin, a sophomore at Sac-Joaquin Section Division II champion El Camino, is one of America’s ranking prep players.

“Marrying an O’Brien, you can expect these kinds of Irish names,” Herenda says, laughing.

His positions as broadcaster — he also is a frequent contributor on national radio and regional cable television — and as PCA boss are other perfect Herenda marriages.

The Positive Coaching Alliance was created at Stanford and is a national nonprofit that works with youth, prep and collegiate coaches and their players in an effort to provide a character-building and positive athletic experience.

When the Capitol-area chapter was created, board members included former Aggie football coach Jim Sochor and ex-NFL standout Rob Awalt. They knew Herenda and his commitment to sports done right.

“They thought, ‘Hey, this may be a good fit for Bill and PCA,’ ” Herenda told me. “So the stars were kind of aligned … and it’s been a great experience for me to combine my passion for sports and kids and also work in the business end of PCA to ensure the fiscal viability of the whole operation.

“It has been a lot of fun.”

Herenda is engaging, and his heartfelt approach for the kids is palpable.

“My first exposure to PCA was when I was helping a friend coach his son’s team in grammar-school basketball,” the Aggie color man says. “We had to go through a PCA workshop. I came away very impressed.”

About that 1988 UMass title winner …

Herenda played guard at the school that he says reminds him a lot of UCD. He didn’t start much, but by his senior year he was UMass’ go-to sixth man.

“That experience has helped me as a broadcaster — and with PCA — because I can identify with guys when things are going well,” Herenda explained, “then, identify with guys when they’re struggling, trying to get minutes.

“My appreciation for the game increased through the experience back East,” Herenda believes.

Herenda gravitated to his UCD gigs when O’Brien introduced him to then-Assistant Athletic Director Larry Swanson. Other friends had him meet Aggie play-by-play announcer Scott Marsh. He was almost instantly brought into the local KSAC (FM 105.5) radio fold.

Herenda’s family ties breach the Causeway — he lives in Sacramento and his wife’s brother the aforementioned Ken O’Brien is married to the former Stacey Sperbeck -sister of Sacramento State football coach Marshall Sperbeck.

In Herenda’s sports world, it’s all one big, happy family.

While I Have You Here: Davis High has enlisted about 50 percent of its current coaching roster for Positive Coaching Alliance workshops.

Blue Devil Athletic Director Dennis Foster loves PCA instruction and says another session is scheduled in the spring for those coaches who haven’t undergone training.

“It’s great,” Foster said.

Are you interested in getting involved in PCA or having a session for your league or staff? Contact Herenda at

— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at or 530-747-8047.



Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Former foster youths aided by UCD’s Guardian programs

    By Sarah Colwell | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Rain Recyclers saves water for another day

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    City plans signs to improve flow on Fifth Street

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Boston bombing suspect in court for first time since 2013

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    U.S., Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    State gets more rain, big mudslide

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Feds will discuss Berryessa Snow Mountain protection

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    ‘Longest Night’ service Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Journalist will join post-film discussion Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    City offices will take a winter break

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Yolo County needs a few good advisers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Per Capita Davis: Time to stop fooling around

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

    NAMI-Yolo offers free mental health education program

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5



    Disagreement on mother’s care

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Marovich is a brilliant diplomat

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    And a jolly time was had by all

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Remember that all lives matter

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Pollution from electric vehicles

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6



    Devil boys host Les Curry beginning Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD women gear up for second half of swim season

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie men begin 4-game road trip at Air Force

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    On skiing: What to know when buying new skis

    By Jeffrey Weidel | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Youth roundup: DBC Juniors rider Kanz wins a cyclocross event

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery



    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B3

    College Corner: How does applying for financial aid work?

    By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: B3

    Something growing in the mailbox

    By Don Shor | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Anniversary: Barbara and Jan Carter

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8



    Sing and dance along to Cold Shot at Froggy’s

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Point of Brew: Recollections of Christmases past

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A7

    Golden Bough brings Irish holidays to The Palms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Come ‘Home for the Holidays’ and benefit school arts

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7





    Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



    Comics: Thursday, December 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6


    Last Minute Gift Guide

    Young phenoms make YouTube success look like child’s play

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG1

    Classic or contemporary, it’s all holiday music to our ears

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG2

    Teen gifts: ideas for hard-to-buy-for big kids

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG3

    Holiday decorating contest winners light up our lives

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: LMG4 | Gallery

    Gift ideas for the health-conscious

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: LMG6

    Hall of Fame proudly puts these toys on the shelf

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG7