Ring Bell: Janda State Coach of Year

Bellarmine of San Jose head coach Mike Janda and longtime assistant John Amarillas are shown before start of a game vs. St. Francis of Mountain View. Photo: 49ers.com.

Bellarmine of San Jose head coach Mike Janda and longtime assistant John Amarillas are shown before the start of a game vs. St. Francis of Mountain View. Photo: 49ers.com.


Moving to No. 1 on the all-time list of coaches with the most wins in CIF Central Coast Section history and beating Folsom in a CIF NorCal bowl game is enough for Mike Janda of San Jose Bellarmine to be named 2015 Cal-Hi Sports State Coach of the Year. He joins a list that extends back more than 100 years in length.

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When you’re from the oldest high school in California (with origins back to 1851 as Santa Clara Prep), it’s hard to escape history.

That’s certainly the case for San Jose Bellarmine Prep football coach Mike Janda and he had a historically significant season with the Bells in 2015.

When the Bells defeated Milpitas 26-13 in the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division I championship, the win not only advanced them into the CIF NorCal Division I-AA bowl game but marked the sixth section title since Janda began as head football coach at the school in 1984.

Janda holds one of the CCS title plaques his teams have won. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Janda holds one of the CCS title plaques his teams have won. Photo: Mark Tennis.


In that bowl game, the Bells weren’t exactly favored, either. They were going up against a 14-0 Folsom squad that was on a 30-game winning streak (longest in the state), a 43-game home field winning streak and had just beaten Elk Grove in a matchup of unbeatens that matched two teams at 13-0 and both among the top six in the overall state rankings.

Since Janda started at Bellarmine, his teams have been known as hard-nosed with a no-nonsense, double-wing rushing offense. There haven’t been many rosters loaded with D1 college prospects and this year’s team got it done with a deep corps of quick, quick, quick running backs and a versatile quarterback in Troy Martig.

Against Folsom, the Bells matched the Bulldogs score for score and then took advantage of a late turnover to post a 42-35 victory. Although the team didn’t seem to have much left in the tank in the CIF state bowl game in a 24-0 loss to Mission Viejo, Janda was still a strong contender to be State Coach of the Year based on his own career and based on other coaches who’ve been honored before (we just don’t pick anyone twice).

The win over Folsom also was win No. 270 for Janda’s career. That moved him to No. 1 on the all-time coaching win list for the CCS, one in front of Saratoga’s Benny Pierce, who retired in 1994. And in addition to beating the Bulldogs, Janda’s team set a school record for wins (13-2) and posted a triumph over CIF Division II-AA state champ Del Oro of Loomis.

“Coach Janda is a remarkable leader,” said Joe Romano, Bellarmine athletic director in a story on the school’s web site about the CCS record. “It is inspiring to see him live out Bellarmine’s Jesuit mission, whether while coaching football practice and games, and when he is teaching chemistry. As we strive to be ‘men for and with others,’ we have a great role model on campus every day.”

Janda was contacted by the San Jose Mecury-News’ Darren Sabedra prior to the 270th win and like most coaches said he hadn’t paid much attention to it.

“When I hear numbers, I just think how lucky I am to be associated with a school like Bellarmine and the players and coaches I have been associated with,” he told the Mercury-News. “We’re just lucky that we have been able to keep this going for a while.”

Prior to this year’s honor as the Cal-Hi Sports State Coach of the Year, Janda was recognized last year as the Northern California Coach of the Year by the California Coaches Association and in 2013 he was one of the California Interscholastic Federation’s Model Coach Award winners.

Janda is the third from the CCS to have been named State Coach of the Year since 2007 following Earl Hansen of Palo Alto for 2010 and Ed Buller of San Jose Oak Grove for 2007. He’s not the first from Bellarmine on the all-time list, either. John Hanna is shown for 1964.

“I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life,” Janda also told the Mercury-News. “I wanted to teach and I wanted to coach. I got a good start and fortunately that’s where we are today.”

Any story about Janda also has to immediately credit John Amarillas, another fixture at Bellarmine as assistant football coach and defensive coordinator. It it always quite a sight to see the towering Amarillas and Janda (who is only about 5-foot-9) ambling side-by-side, always wearing shorts no matter the weather, with their players behind them before the start of the game. There’s no fanfare, no running through a tunnel of cheerleaders, just two men focused on their job at hand, which is leading young men into a football game. Dan Burke and Mike Henry also are listed as assistant coaches on the school’s web site.

Last year's State Coach of the Year, Kurt Bruich of Redlands East Valley, gets a hug from his father, Dick, who also is a former State Coach of the Year. Photo: Twitter.com.

Last year’s State Coach of the Year, Kurt Bruich of Redlands East Valley, gets a hug from his father, Dick, who also is a former State Coach of the Year. Photo: Twitter.com.


Cal-Hi Sports State Coach of the Year
All-Time Honor Roll
(All selections by CalHiSports.com)
(Based on research by the late Nelson Tennis, our founder, prior to 1979)

2015 — Mike Janda (Bellarmine, San Jose) 13-2
2014 — Kurt Bruich (Redlands East Valley) 15-1
2013 — Ed Croson (Chaminade, West Hills) 14-2
2012 — Ernie Cooper (Granite Bay) 13-3
2011 — Mike Papadopoulos (Vacaville) 13-1
2010 — Earl Hansen (Palo Alto) 14-0
2009 — Jim Benkert (Westlake, Westl. Vill.) 14-0
2008 — Mike Alberghini (Grant, Sacramento) 14-0
2007 — Ed Buller (Oak Grove, San Jose) 12-1
2006 — Bob McAllister (Carlsbad) 10-0-2
2005 — Harry Welch (Canyon, Canyon Country) 13-1
2004 — Matt Logan (Centennial, Corona) 13-1
2003 — Steve Grady (Loyola, Los Angeles) 11-3
2002 — Kevin Rooney (Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks) 14-0
2001 — Bob Johnson (Mission Viejo) 14-0
2000 — Jerry Jaso (Poly, Long Beach) 14-0
1999 — Mike Herrington (Hart, Newhall) 14-0
1998 — Randy Blankenship (Clovis West, Fresno) 12-1
1997 — John Beam (Skyline, Oakland) 12-0
1996 — Dave Silveira (Alhambra, Martinez) 13-0
1995 — Larry Welsh (Atascadero) 14-0
1994 — Bruce Rollinson (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 14-0
1993 — John Barnes (Los Alamitos) 14-0
1992 — Mark Paredes (Bishop Amat, La Puente) 15-0
1991 — Herb Meyer (El Camino, Oceanside) 13-1
1990 — Pat Preston (Bakersfield) 13-0
1989 — Dick Bruich (Fontana) 14-0
1988 — Norm Dow (Live Oak, Morgan Hill) 11-0-1
1987 — Bennie Edens (Point Loma, San Diego) 13-0
1986 — Bob Ladouceur (De La Salle, Concord) 12-0
1985 — Charlie Wedemeyer (Los Gatos) 13-1
1984 — Tim Simons (Clovis) 12-0-1
1983 — Ron Calcagno (St. Francis, Mountain View) 13-0
1982 — Wayne Schneider (Tracy) 12-1
1981 — Marijon Ancich (St. Paul, Santa Fe Springs) 14-0
1980 — Bill Workman (Edison, Huntington Beach) 14-0
1979 — Ron Lancaster (Cordova, Rancho Cordova) 13-0
1978 — Jerry Deuker (Pinole Valley, Pinole) 11-1
1977 — Chris Ferragamo (Banning, Wilmington) 11-1-1
1976 — Benny Pierce (Saratoga) 13-0
1975 — Ed Lloyd (Cardinal Newman, Santa Rosa) 12-0
1974 — Dick Haines (Vista) 13-0
1973 — Dwayne DeSpain (Los Altos, Hacienda Heights) 12-0-1
1972 — Bob Hitchcock (Temple City) 13-0
1971 — Gene Vollnogle (Carson) 12-0
1970 — Jack Neumeier (Granada Hills) 11-1
1969 — Forrest Klein (Alameda) 9-0
1968 — Tom Burt (Los Altos) 9-0
1967 — Clare Van Hoorebeke (Anaheim) 12-1
1966 — Ernie Johnson (El Rancho, Pico Rivera) 13-0
1965 — Dick Coury (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 12-0-1
1964 — John Hanna (Bellarmine, San Jose) 10-0
1963 — Paul Briggs (Bakersfield) 9-0
1962 — Bob Berry (Willow Glen, San Jose) 9-0
1961 — Joe Marvin (Sequoia, Redwood City) 9-0
1960 — Sam Cathcart (Santa Barbara) 11-1
1959 — Dave Levy (Long Beach Poly) 11-0
1958 — Paul Huebner (Banning, Wilmington) 11-0
1957 — Johnny Johnson (Oroville) 9-0
1956 — Dick Hill (Downey) 12-0-1
1955 — Duane Maley (San Diego) 11-0-1
1954 — Aaron Wade (Centennial, Compton) 10-1-1
1953 — Milt Axt (Poly, San Francisco) 10-0
1952 — Fred Moffett (Berkeley) 9-0
1951 — Hod Ray (Palo Alto) 8-0
1950 — Ernie Busch (Merced) 11-0
1949 — Bob Patterson (Vallejo) 10-0
1948 — Harry Edelson (Fremont, Los Angeles) 9-0-1
1947 — Jim Sutherland (Santa Monica) 12-0
1946 — George Hobbs (Alhambra) 12-0
1945 — Colon Kilby (Vallejo) 10-0
1944 – Bert LaBrucherie (Los Angeles) 7-0
1943 – Larry Siemering (Stockton) 10-0
1942 – Brick Johnson (Piedmont) 7-0
1941 – Roy Richert (Castlemont, Oakland) 5-0-1
1940 – Clarence Schutte (Santa Barbara) 9-1
1939 – Palmer Muhl (Woodland) 8-0
1938 – Ras Johnson (Galileo, San Francisco) 8-0-1
1937 – Jim Blewett (Manual Arts, Los Angeles) 8-0
1936 – Harlan Lee (Red Bluff) 7-0-1
1935 – Paul Hungerford (Poly, San Francisco) 9-0
1934 – Orian Landreth (Long Beach Poly, Long Beach) 12-1
1933 – Dick Arnett (Inglewood) 8-2-1
1932 – Harry Shipkey (Salinas) 11-0
1931 – Tex Oliver (Santa Ana) 13-0
1930 – John Price (Bonita, La Verne) 10-0

List continues back to 1896 in CalHiSports.com State Record Book & Almanac.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


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