2021 Fall FB Coaching Highlights

Scott Altenberg of Gardena Serra holds CIF state title trophy for the third time in his career. Due to a forfeit win from 2019, it also was his 200th career victory (on-the-field). Photo: Scott Kurtz.

With our state coaches of the year announced within the last two weeks, it’s also the time when we update the all-time state coaching leaders list to include all reported results from the 2021 fall season. The biggest news was Randy Blankenship of Aptos becoming just the 13th in state history to win his 300th game. We also have a huge gain of 20 spots on the all-time state list by a CIF state title coach plus 19 for a coach in his first season at a new school.

To read about this year’s State Coach of the Year, CLICK HERE.

To check out our updated Gold Club list of California’s all-time winningest football coaches (all with 200 wins or more), CLICK HERE.

To check out our updated Gold Club list of every California coach with two more CIF state titles, CLICK HERE.

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(All listed in alphabetical order)

Scott Altenberg (Serra, Gardena)
The head coach for more than 20 years at Serra celebrated the 200th win of his career when the Cavaliers edged Long Beach Poly for the CIF D1-A SoCal regional title. The next week was the state title and despite a late injury to QB Maalik Murphy it was Altenberg and his team taking the D1-A state crown with a victory against Liberty of Bakersfield. That also was the third state title for him, which moved him up on a second state list. In looking over his recent seasons in adding him to the record book, however, there was one forfeit win from 2019 that had to be accounted for. For us, of course, that means the 200th win actually was the one last month over Liberty.

Cathedral Catholic head coach Sean Doyle and Folsom head coach Paul Doherty greet each other just seconds after the D1-AA state final. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Randy Blankenship (Aptos)
After a 4-0 spring, Blankenship and the Mariners had an arguably better fall. Although they ended 8-2, Aptos had a 49-0 win over eventual NCS D1 champion Campolindo of Moraga, also had a win over San Benito with the losses only to state No. 50 Salinas (8-1) and state No. 7 St. Francis of Mountain View. In October, a 38-7 triumph over Christopher of Gilroy gave Blankenship his 300th career win. He became the 12th in state history to join that club. Blankenship’s career stops have been at Nevada Union of Grass Valley, Clovis West of Fresno, Fallbrook, Granbury (Texas), Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo, Madera and Aptos. This was his 12th season with the Mariners.

Paul Cronin (Windsor)
Shock waves reverberated throughout the CIF North Coast Section after the spring season when Cronin left his previous school, Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa, to take over at the public school not far from where he lives. Cronin had been at Cardinal Newman since 2004 and had a CIF D3-AA state title in 2019 plus he had the State D3 Team of the Year for the 2020 spring season. At Windsor, Cronin’s team continued to roll. The Jaguars went 9-1 in the regular season (only loss by one point) and took the NCS D3 title with a victory over Benicia. They were defeated in the NorCal D3-A final by Vanden of Fairfield. With the 11-2 record, Cronin now has 222 career wins and jumped past 19 others on the updated all-time state list.

Sean Doyle (Cathedral Catholic, San Diego)
Among all of the coaches with 200 wins or more in California history, Doyle is the one that moved up the most on the all-time list after all totals were updated this week following the 2021 fall season. He went up 20 spots from 209 wins to 220 with an 11-2 season (not counting forfeit win over Lincoln). The major accomplishment, of course, was the Dons beating Folsom to win their their CIF state title. They did it in D1-AA, which is the same division in which they lost to Folsom in overtime in the state final in 2018. Doyle’s first CIF state title came in 2008 with a win vs. St. Mary’s of Stockton. His team also topped the Rams in an overtime game in 2016 for a D1-AA victory. Not counting the forfeit win vs. Lincoln isn’t because of any political reason. All forfeit wins or losses have never counted in the Cal-Hi Sports state records.

Michael Peters (McClymonds, Oakland)
There were obviously no CIF state finals for the 2020-21 school year, but that is the only school year since 2016-17 in which Peters’ team at McClymonds has not been in a CIF state final. This time, the Warriors were mistakenly placed too low by the CIF and showed it when they crushed Birmingham of Lake Balboa, 54-7, to win the D3-A state crown. They had a three-year streak of winning CIF state titles from 2016 to 2018 end with a loss in the 2019 D2-A game to Pacifica of Oxnard. Peters’ four state titles moves him into a tie for third on the all-time state list.

Bruce Rollinson (Mater Dei, Santa Ana)
The longtime leader of the Monarchs (since 1989) moved up into the top five on the all-time state list with this year’s 12-0 record and also made it three CIF state titles (all since 2017). It wasn’t the usual celebration after winning a state title, however, as school security guards were seen preventing any players from even talking to anyone from the media (interview or not) following the 44-7 win in December over Serra of San Mateo in the CIF Open Division state final. Some thought it might have been Rollinson’s last game, but with recent change in school’s leadership that may not be the case.

John Tyree (Banning)
Yes, you could say a lot has happened since Tyree was the head coach at Calexico in 2019. We had thought that it would be Tyree’s final season and didn’t list him as an active coach in 2020 or after the 2021 spring season. But the 82-year-old popped up again a few months ago in taking over at yet another Inland Empire area school. The Broncos only won two games, but every time Tyree wins a game it’s a win for the oldest coach in state history. He’s been coaching so long that he was the head coach at Fontana before Dick Bruich started there in 1977. Bruich had 292 wins in his career at Fontana and Kaiser. Tyree has stops outside of high school, but we have him with 218 wins coming from 12 different schools in 42 seasons.

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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