One of our tasks to complete before California football teams hopefully start practicing next month is to send out questionnaires to the head coach for many of the top large, medium and small school programs. It’s surprising when updating those email lists how many head coaches resign or retire. Here’s a list of those we think are the most significant heading into the 2020-21 season.
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1. Joe McNab for Kevin Rooney
(Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks)
This is a situation of a longtime assistant taking over for a retiring head coach who certainly can have the adjective “legendary” is front of his name. Rooney retired as the state’s seventh winningest on the all-time list and had been the head coach of the Knights for 40 years. For 39 of those years, McNab was one of Rooney’s assistant coaches and for most of those years he was considered the top assistant.
2. Rick Herrington for Mike Herrington
Another of those recently added to state’s list of those with 300 wins or more was Mike Herrington, who did that just last season at Hart. Like Rooney, Herrington also announced a decision to retire after the 2019 season. The new head coach wound up being brother Rick, a longtime assistant not only to brother Mike but also to brother Dean, who is the current head coach at Paraclete of Lancaster. “I’ve never been a head varsity coach because I was with either Mike or Dean (Herrington), so I thought, maybe this is something I want to try,” Rick said in an interview with the Santa Clarita Valley Signal.
3. Jalal Beauchman for Mike Janda
(Bellarmine, San Jose)
In a career at Bellarmine in the super-competitive West Catholic Athletic League, Janda gained distinction by becoming the winningest coach ever from the CIF Central Coast Section with a reported 286 wins since 1984. His announced replacement is Beauchman, a 2006 grad of the school and a former player at San Jose State. Beauchman also has coached at his alma mater for six years. We almost hate to mention it since Jalal is uniquely qualified for the job, but we do really need a lot more Black head coaches at schools like Bellarmine and this school’s hiring of him is a step in the right direction.
4. Manny Douglas for Joe Torres
(St. Bernard, Playa del Rey)
Yes, that is the same Manny Douglas who was at Narbonne of Harbor City where his teams won eight CIF L.A. City Section titles and two CIF state titles. Last year’s team at Narbonne undoubtedly would have won another section title and certainly had the talent to have perhaps won the CIF D1-AA state crown, but was removed from the section playoffs prior to its 10th game. Douglas would eventually resign after a nine-month investigation into alleged academic misconduct. St. Bernard had been rumored to be where Douglas would be coaching next and that became official last February. Several players already have transferred in to play for Douglas, including WR/DB Larry Turner-Gooden and RB Jaylen Thompson from Calabasas. Watch for St. Bernard to become an immediate rival both for getting local players and competitively on the field with Serra of Gardena.
5. Casey Taylor for Terry Stark
It was surprising that Casey wasn’t kept on at Capital Christian of Sacramento, but the former head coach who won a 2015 CIF state title at Del Oro (Loomis) didn’t wait long for a different gig. He’s moving over to an Inderkum program that has the second-best record in the state since 2010 after De La Salle. That program was started and run by previous head coach Terry Stark since 2005 (we have him with 231 career wins including years at two other schools), who told the Sacramento Bee he needed to take some time off for a family health reason.
6. Cary Harris for Chris Claiborne
We just mentioned the Calabasas players going to St. Bernard and we’ve already mentioned the coaching change at Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks. Harris is a former all-state player from Notre Dame and also played for three NFL teams and in the Canadian Football League. He takes over the high profile Coyotes’ program from Claiborne, a former Mr. Football State Player of the Year at J.W. North of Riverside and also a former NFL player. Claiborne left Calabasas to become a quality control analyst for the staff at USC.
7. David Perry for Napoleon Kaufman
(Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland)
We saw Chris Claiborne and Kaufman chatting at the NorCal Nike event in the spring of 2018 but weren’t able to get to them in time for a photo of the two Mr. Football State Players of the Year. While Claiborne left his job at Calabasas for USC, Napoleon left his at O’Dowd to more fully involve himself at his ministry in Livermore. Perry was an assistant coach for the Dragons last season and coached for 10 years at Concord High, two years at Berkeley and one at Laney College. And perhaps most importantly, he is a member of Pastor Napoleon’s church.
8. Anthony Rozier for Brent Vieselmeyer
(Santa Margarita, Rancho SM)
Vieselmeyer was only with the Eagles for one season, but it obviously was too hard to turn down joining the defensive staff of the Washington Football Team of the NFL. Vieselmeyer at one point was a head coach at Valor Christian in Colorado where he had QB Luke Del Rio, the son of Washington defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. Former Cal Poly San Luis Obispo head coach Tim Walsh was named initially as the new coach for the Eagles, but he later resigned due to health reasons. Rozier was on the staff last season as a linebacker and has been a coach with the Hamburg Huskies of the German Football League.
9. Matt Hoefs for Ryan Partridge
We had a great conversation with these two in March of 2019 at Max Miller’s showcase coaching clinic up in Reno about different playoff proposals in the CIF North Coast Section. Hoefs has now replaced Partridge as Liberty’s head coach after Partridge accepted a linebacker coaching job at Ferris State last winter and moved to Michigan. The Lions won the CIF D1-A state title in 2018 and this move shouldn’t slow them down at all. Hoefs alo has been a head coach at Dublin.
10. Jason Texler for John McFadden
(Eastlake, Chula Vista)
This one also could be Texler for Drew Westling, who was originally the one going to replace McFadden, but one month later he resigned after a dispute with Eastlake administrators about assistant coaching hires. McFadden had led the Titans to a 131-50-4 record in 16 seasons and was placed on leave last September for what was reported as a personnel matter. Texler has plenty of head coaching experience as well, including seasons at El Cajon Valley and San Marcos, with a reported record of 78-59-1.
11. Chris Saunders for Steve Papin
It was only one season for Papin, who came to M-A in 2019 after Adhir Ravipati had guided the Bears to the CIF D3-AA state title in 2018 and had built one of the top programs in the CIF Central Coast Section. Saunders has been an assistant at schools in the West Catholic Athletic League, including a recent stint as offensive coordinator at Archbishop Riordan of San Francisco.
12. Mike Maben for Jeff Walters
(Del Oro, Loomis)
This move also is related another small school change of coaches at Ripon Christian since one of Maben’s new assistants will be former Del Oro all-state QB Randy Fasani, the head coach last season at Ripon Christian. Maben is moving up from the Golden Eagles’ staff after previous head coach Walters advanced at the school into administration. Del Oro’s defensive coordinator is listed as former NFL linebacker Josh Parry. That’s the same Parry who led Sonora High to a win over Del Oro and Fasani in 1995 for the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D3 title when both teams were 12-0.
13. Adam Contreras for Kraig Broach
In the 12 years that the Patriots were led by Broach (which also would be the first 12 years of the school’s existence), they racked up a 117-31 record with one CIFSS title and three finals appearances. Contreras is on campus as an algebra teacher and moves up from an assistant’s role. The math likely will look good at Heritage for many more years.
14. Natello Howard for Anthony Martinez
Coach Howard takes over for a team projected to be among the best in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section. We didn’t notice there had been a change for the Trojans until he was quoted in a feature story by the Stockton Record about one of the upcoming players, junior running back Jonah Coleman, getting a D1 offer from Tennessee. Sophomore QB Kenyon Nelson also was a sizzling player at Lincoln last season.
15. Chris Nixon for David Filan
The Huskies were in transition after the 2018 season when Joe Cattolico left after several successful seasons. Nixon is the former head coach at Elk Grove and went 84-28 there for nine seasons, but didn’t have his contract renewed there due to a controversy surrounding the building of a team room. At Sheldon, one of the top players for the next season will be QB Sean Nixon, Chris’s son.
Some Other Notable Coaching Changes
Danny Calcagno for Eric Billeci
(California, San Ramon)
Rich Cornford for Dennis Manning
Joe Goyeneche for Tony Henney
(St. Bonaventure, Ventura)
Phil Grams for Randy Fasani
Jeff Gray for Chris Morgan
Kramer Hagan for Travis Barker
(East Nicolaus, Nicolaus)
Andrew Haraldson for Jason White
Michael Machado for David Flores
(Tulare Western, Tulare)
Danny Sullivan for Sione Ta’ufo’ou
(Archbishop Mitty, San Jose)