Jeff Porto Jr. enters his fourth season as the Assistant Men's and Women's Cross Country Coach at UC Merced.
The Cal Poly graduate looks forward to continuing to bring his experience at the NCAA level to UC Merced to help build a strong distance program. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in History and a master's in Public Policy.
Porto competed in four seasons of cross country and three in track at Cal Poly as a walk-on in both sports. He continued to improve each year and had a breakout season as a senior, in 2004, where he was consistently a top-five scorer for the Mustangs, who were ranked as high as No. 6 in the nation and finished 10th at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. That same year, Porto was all-region at the NCAA D-I West Region Championships, All-Conference at the Big West Cross Country Championships and helped lead Cal Poly to its fifth conference title in seven years. He also ran a career best 24 minutes and 23 seconds in the 8,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational, when the course still had hills.
In the 2004 track season, as a junior, Porto won the 10,000 meters at the Big West Conference Championships with a career best of 30:36. He also placed seventh in the 5,000 meters the next day, scoring 12 points to help Cal Poly to a second-place finish in the conference. During his career at Cal Poly, Porto also earned Big West Conference All-Academic honors five times and was a two-time Mary Stuart Rogers Scholarship recipient.
Porto grew up in the small town of Grayson in Stanislaus County and graduated from Modesto High School in the International Baccalaureate program. He lettered in cross country and track all four years and won two Central California Conference titles — one in cross country and one in the 3,200 meters in track. He also led Modesto to its first ever team appearance at the CIF cross country state meet.
Porto is also the Director of Development, Student Affairs and Athletics at UC Merced.