Here are the honorees from among those schools considered medium or small schools for the 2020-21 season. Our medium schools honoree has had the No. 1 draft pick in the NFL plus many highly-ranked teams. Our small schools honoree is in his 25th year at his school (13th as head coach) with a 133-29 record. Go inside to see more and lists of previous winners of these honors for the last 10 to 15 years.
Congratulations to the following two California coaches for joining Cal-Hi Sports State Coach of the Year Patrick Walsh from Serra of San Mateo as additional honorees for accomplishments by their teams during the 2020-21 football season. To read more about Coach Walsh, CLICK HERE.
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State Coach of the Year
Mazi Moayed (Marin Catholic, Kentfield)
(Written by Harold Abend)
This past football pandemic-shortened season, one that should have concluded last December, may have been the wackiest and strangest season ever, even more so than a couple of years during World War II when seasons had less than a full complement of games.
The season may have been strange but Moayed is no stranger to winning, and doing it with dignity and honor.
Now, after recently being named one of nine statewide 2020-21 CIF Eastbay Model Coach Award winners by meeting that criterion of the six core ethical values and pillars of character, trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship, Moayed has met the Cal-Hi Sports standards for winning the state’s most prestigious honor for a medium size school football coach after being named the 2020-21 State Medium Schools Coach of the Year.
“First, I want to thank Cal-Hi Sports very much. I’m truly honored,” Moayed said when told he was the winner. “I don’t have to tell you, but this is a team award.
“All the great players and the coaches, the administration, the teachers, the entire Marin Catholic community, my wife Lori, and all the coach’s wives and significant others that made sacrifices, they’re part of this too,” Moayed continued. “I’m grateful to God for the blessing because all blessings come from God.”
This year’s team finished with a 5-0 record with the season’s signature win coming in game four at home in a 45-10 victory over a perennial CIF Sac-Joaquin Section small school power Central Catholic team that had soundly beaten Moayed and his Wildcats in two previous meetings, first in the CIF Northern Regional Small School Open Division championship, and then to open the 2016 season.
Moayed mentioned having great players and he had some outstanding talent on this year’s team. Two of the seniors are moving on to play Division I football. Running back Matteo Perez is going to UC Davis and Kai Peterson-Davison is headed to San Jose State.
Since Moayed took the Marin Catholic helm in 2010, the Wildcats have been known for turning out top-notch quarterbacks, with current Detroit Lions signal-caller Jared Goff being the most notable, but this year’s and last year’s starting quarterback, junior Michael Ingrassia, continues to turn heads with his arm strength and accuracy, and is starting to garner some major college interest.
The Medium Schools Coach of the Year award is for this year’s achievements, but it’s hard not to look at Moayed’s overall body of work as the Marin Catholic head coach. Since 2010, he has compiled a 123-21 record in 10 full seasons and this past abbreviated one, and that translates into a .854 winning percentage, one of the highest for any coach with 10 or more seasons coaching – and to think it all could have ended early on in tragedy.
Two of those previously selected as medium school state coach of the year from the CIF North Coast Section are coaches that Moayed knows quite well — Kevin Macy from Campolindo of Moraga (2014) and Paul Cronin of Santa Rosa Cardinal Newman (2010).
What a lot of people don’t know is in 2010, and two months after he was named the head coach at Marin Catholic, the at the time 42-year-old Novato High graduate got some news, and it wasn’t good. He was diagnosed with high grade sarcoma and had a tumor the size of a lime in his thigh and four legions in his lungs.
Moayed, who eventually left a high-paying job in the construction industry to coach football full time, and work at the school where he is currently also the Director of Football Operations and a Special Assistant to the Dominican Sisters and for Student Affairs, could have stepped away from coaching, but he fought his battle with the Big C and eventually beat it, and along the way his Wildcats went 12-1 after losing in the NCS D3 semifinals.
With the kind of history he has, Moayed could have been honored previously, but this is his year.
Recent Cal-Hi Sports Medium Schools
State Coaches of the Year
2019 – Mike Moon (Pacifica, Oxnard); 2018 – Mark Cooley (Pleasant Valley, Chico); 2017 – Josh Henderson (Grace Brethren, Simi Valley); 2016 – Trent Merzon (Oakdale); 2015 – Mike Moschetti (La Mirada); 2014 – Kevin Macy (Campolindo, Moraga); 2013 – Scott Meyer (Corona del Mar, Newport Beach); 2012 – Rick Jackson (Madison, San Diego); 2011 – Rick Prinz (Paradise); 2010 – Paul Cronin (Cardinal Newman, Santa Rosa); 2009 – Sean Doyle (Cathedral Catholic, San Diego); 2008 – Lou Farrar (Charter Oak, Covina); 2007 – Ray Fenton (Cypress); 2006 – Eric Reis (Manteca); 2005 – Robin Luken (Lompoc); 2004 – Rob Gilster (Valley Center); 2003 – Tony Martello (Colfax); 2002 – Tom St. Jacques (Lassen, Susanville).
Small Schools State Coach of the Year
Ryan Reynolds (Sutter)
(Written by Mark Tennis)
Our small schools honoree knows about playing our medium schools honoree. Their teams met in the 2012 CIF D3 Northern California championship with Marin Catholic winning against Sutter, 23-7.
At the time, Reynolds was only in the early years of his current run with the Huskies, which began in 2009 after he took over from longtime head coach Scott Turner. Reynolds had been an assistant coach for 12 years prior to that.
“I couldn’t be more flattered,” Reynolds said on Thursday after being told of his being this year’s honoree. “I’m honored just to be considered with some of the others you were probably looking at.”
In more recent seasons, Sutter hasn’t just been a small schools powerhouse in the CIF Northern Section but has been arguably the best team regardless of school size. That was the case once again this spring with a 5-0 record. The biggest win ended up being an early one of 10-7 over Gridley, which was that team’s only loss. The Huskies went 12-2 in 2019, winning their sixth section title in the last eight years and losing only to Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa in the first game and then to eventual CIF D4-AA state champ Ripon in the CIF NorCal final.
Reynolds enjoyed coaching his son, Tyler, as the team’s running-throwing quarterback in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Tyler is currently playing at Dordt College in North Dakota. He and wife, Kathy, also have a daughter, Tayah, a freshman at Yuba College.
With this year’s 5-0 record added on, Reynolds has compiled a 133-29 record.
There is a big change coming for Sutter and its football program, however, as the school will be moving to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section starting for the 2022-23 school year.
“The Friday night atmospheres in those places like Ripon and Escalon are amazing,” Reynolds said about two of those small schools like his that the Huskies will have to compete against in the future. “Just going to be in the mix with those juggernauts is something we’re looking forward to.”
The last CIF Northern Section small schools state coach of the year was Matt Hunsaker from Central Valley of Shasta Lake for 2005. The previous honoree from the section before that was 20 years earlier when Gary Burton of Corning was selected. Reynolds is the first-ever from Sutter.
Recent Cal-Hi Sports Small Schools
State Coaches of the Year
2019 – Chris Musseman (Ripon); 2018 – Michael Peters (McClymonds, Oakland); 2017 – David Griffiths (Big Bear, Big Bear Lake); 2016 – Jim Kunau (Rancho Christian, Temecula); 2015 – Tom Crawford (Bishop Diego, Santa Barbara); 2014 – Roger Canepa (Central Catholic, Modesto); 2013 – Matt Oliver (Christian, El Cajon); 2012 – Pete Lavorato (Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton); 2011 – Jon Ellinghouse (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth); 2010 – Mark Louriero (Escalon); 2009 – Jack Moyer (Fort Bragg); 2008 – Frank Marques (Hilmar); 2007 – Kim Jorgensen (Ferndale); 2006 – Travis Brackett (Novato); 2005 – Matt Hunsaker (Central Valley, Shasta Lake); 2004 – Rich Cotruvo (Justin-Siena, Napa); 2003 – Mike Glines (Central Catholic, Modesto); 2002 – Coley Candaele (Carpinteria).