Here’s a quick look at the most significant coaching changes in California high school football since the end of the 2018 season, ranked in order.
Kris Richardson, our 2017 State Coach of the Year, and the primary architect of the explosive Folsom program that won CIF state titles in 2010, 2014, 2017 and 2018, left with several of the team’s other top assistants to join the program at Sacramento State. The Hornets’ new head coach is former Folsom co-coach Troy Taylor, who is a lifelong friend of Richardson’s. Taylor was previously an offensive coordinator at Eastern Washington and Utah after leaving Folsom. The Bulldogs’ new head coach is Paul Doherty, an assistant last season but who has head coaching experience from Sacramento High and Whitney of Rocklin.
It’s always big news when the state’s winningest football program has a change. That happened after last season when head coach Paul Golla resigned and accepted the top job at Garces of Bakersfield. Garces is the city’s parochial high school and with the hiring of Golla and other moves may be trying to build up an athletic program capable of CIF Central Section Division I competition. The Drillers’ new head coach is former player Michael Stewart, who also played in the NFL as a defensive back.
Longtime head coach Tim Salter retired after last season. He had been leading the program for 25 years and won four CIF Southern Section title. Upland’s new head coach is Darryl Thomas, who had previous success at nearby Covina. Thomas has inherited one of Southern California’s most talented teams, especially on defense.
4. Santa Margarita
It’s been a struggle for the Eagles since Harry Welch retired in 2013. The latest move for the Trinity League school is for Brent Vieselmeyer to take over for Rich Fisher, who was the head coach for three seasons. Vieselmeyer comes to Orange County known for having directed several state championship teams at Valor Christian in Colorado. Several of the Valor Christian coaches, including Vieselmeyer and former athletic director Rod Sherman, went there from the Orange Lutheran staff that won a CIF state title in 2009 and was nearly State Team of the Year. Sherman is now coaching at a public school in Colorado. Vieselmeyer is now back in the Trinity League. We got all the dope on what happened at Valor Christian since Sherman’s father is a neighbor of ours in Stockton.
5. South Hills (West Covina)
The Huskies are coming off of a season in which they won the CIFSS Division 6 title and were 14-0 until taking a loss to eventual CIF D2-A state champ Lawndale in a SoCal regional bowl game. They have some key returnees such as QB Khalil Ali and RB Juaquin Elliott, but the new head coach will be Danilo Robinson. Previous head coach Matt Bechtel is now at Damien of La Verne.