A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

Alumni Profile: Alan Estareja

Feature by Bernadette Malqued In high school varsity sports, springtime means tennis, and for Alan Estareja, Loma Linda University School of Pharmacy alumnus (Class of 2013) and Redlands High School Assistant Head Coach, that means it's time do to some work. On this mid-April afternoon, I watch as Alan and at least two dozen high school students jog and do drills out on the court-in 98-degree weather, no less. A rival team from Temecula is soon to arrive and Alan helps oversee that the team warms up by practicing their groundstrokes, volleys, and serves. As the clock ticks on, the thermostat climbs, but Alan and the team are still at it. It's a full-circle moment for Alan, this year marking his second official coaching year for the Terriers' varsity tennis team-one that he had played on as a high school student when he attended RHS. As a varsity member, Alan helped his team win the California Interscholastic Federation Championship in 2004, which was the first championship their high school had ever won for tennis. He also won two individual junior tournaments, and at his highest, ranked 75 in Southern California as a junior. Later, at La Sierra University, he represented LSU as an inductee into the Riverside Sports Hall of Fame for the 2006 and 2008 seasons. When you've played a sport since the age of 7, though, one can find it hard to leave completely behind. Despite his busy life during college and later in pharmacy school, Alan would still come back to his old high school and practice with the team, just for fun. After graduating from LLUSP, he was able to spend more time helping out and saw the Terriers reach the CIF Finals in 2014. With the acknowledgement and appreciation received from the team members, Alan decided to make it official the following year and become assistant head coach, a responsibility he juggles alongside his position as an outpatient pharmacist at Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center. I enjoy coaching because it fulfills my purpose to be of service to others, and allows me to experience the joy of helping others thrive. "Having played tennis for so long, I felt that coaching was the optimal way to transform my life experiences into value for others," Alan shares. "It's a great way to express my passion for the sport and keep myself actively involved instead of just watching on the sideline. I enjoy coaching because it fulfills my purpose to be of service to others, and allows me to experience the joy of helping others thrive." Another big reason why Alan volunteers his time in this way today is because of his own very first coach-his father, Renato. "The dedication and commitment that he showed to me in my tennis development are some of the reasons why I coach," Alan says, and he hopes to help "inspire and motivate those around me the same way my father did." By now, a figuratively cool hour and a half has passed; the rival team has arrived and are dispersing on the unoccupied Terrier courts for their own warm-up. The temperature is nearing triple digits and it's not even match time. I'm only sitting on a bench and I'm already sweating, so I can only imagine how brutal today's match is going to be for Alan and his team. But I'm hopeful as I wave goodbye to the assistant head coach. I messaged Alan a few days later asking if his team won-they did.

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