by LYDIA COBB | photos by Soul of Photography

Passing the Ball

volunteer_rodrigue1Jon Rodrigue, a real estate attorney, and his wife, Shannon, settled in Olivenhain in 2003. Their four kids are growing up, he reflected, “in an active beach community with fantastic rural and open space areas.” Indoors, his passion is recreational basketball. When their older son began playing Peewee-level sports with Encinitas Parks & Recreation, Jon joined him as coach, and has since continued to coach all his kids’ teams. “My office is predominantly decorated with photos of my family and team memorabilia from the past decade,” Jon shared.

This summer, Jon was recognized as Outstanding Parks & Recreation Volunteer of the Year at City Hall. He keeps humble, mentioning that many dedicated coaches are equally deserving. “I embrace the chance to play a positive role in shaping the kids in our community,” said Jon. His accolade is not for trophy hoarding. And that’s the game point: “I like to think that more important than the wins and losses is the experience along the way and the lessons we learn on the court, and how to apply them off the court,” he mentioned. Each week he pulls a phrase or quote from legendary UCLA Bruins coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success – poise, enthusiasm, and confidence, for example.

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Name: Jon P. Rodrigue
Volunteer Affiliation: Encinitas Parks & Recreation
Occupation: Real estate attorney
Family: Wife – Shannon; four kids – Thomas, Sydney, Ryan, and Nicholas
Hobbies & Interests: Basketball (coaching and playing), triathlons, and all things UCLA
Favorite Spots in 92024: Luna Grill, Super Donuts No. 2, Moonlight Beach, and local basketball courts


volunteer_rodrigue4When Jon’s second grade basketball team met for playoffs against a team that was short one player, his players were excited to learn of their advantage. But Jon quickly pulled his team together and asked them if they’d feel right about winning that way. They decided to rotate players to equalize the game. “You can be sure I was sweating profusely,” added Jon, who recalled that some thought they’d lose. “In fact, I know it is one of the victories that mattered most to me as a coach.”

volunteer_rodrigue5Jon’s children, ranging from 7 to 15 in age, play basketball in high school and in other competitive leagues. They grew up playing with youth of opposite genders, disabilities, and varying skills. “I love that spirit of inclusion and what it brings to everyone on the court,” Jon added.

The off-season can leave him feeling lost, he explained, “I don’t know what to do for fun if I don’t have practices to run, rosters to create, games to coach, or game highs and lows to analyze in my head for the rest of the week.” So triathlons fill the void. Plus, there’s always next season, when this exemplary coach will be back on the court. This year, you can catch Jon waving at the crowd from a float at the “Encinitas ’86” holiday parade.

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Group: Encinitas Parks & Recreation
Purpose: The Parks & Recreation Department is responsible for a wide range of services for the city including recreation programs, citywide special events, park, beach, and recreational trail maintenance, streetscape maintenance, animal control services, and oversight of the administration of the Encinitas Ranch Golf Authority.
Contact: encinitasparksandrec@encinitasca.gov