Etiwanda football coach Bryce resigns

After seven seasons as the Etiwanda High School head football coach and “31 straight years on a football team,” Steve Bryce will resign effective at semester’s end on Dec. 21.

Bryce has been on the Etiwanda sideline in some capacity for the last 15 seasons but with his first child due in January, Bryce and his wife decided it best for him to step down. He will continue to teach anatomy and physiology at Etiwanda.

“It’s going to be tough,” Bryce said. “It was difficult telling the players because I didn’t want them to think I was abandoning them. I’ll still be here for them but I wanted them to understand that I was putting my family first for the first time ever.”

In sevens seasons as the head coach, Bryce led Etiwanda to two co-Baseline League championships and five playoff appearances. The only two seasons his teams missed the playoffs were his first in 2005 and last season, when the Eagles finished fourth in a league that sent two teams to the CIF-SS Inland Division semifinals. A disappointing 2011 season had nothing to do with Bryce’s decision.

“With him having a kid, he said he could try and do both but he’d be cheating somebody,” Etiwanda athletic director Dave Masucci said. “He said he didn’t want to cheat his family or the football program. Coaching football is a different beast. It takes a lot out of you, especially to be the head coach when you’re actually doing less coaching and more worrying about fund raising and administrative things.”

Bryce’s program seemed to be peaking prior to this season. In 2009, the Eagles went 8-4, their highest win total under Bryce. Last season, Etiwanda went 6-6, advancing to the Inland Division quarterfinals and winning a playoff game for the second consecutive season.

The 2011 season was a rollercoaster for Etiwanda, beginning with a blowout win over a Summit team playing for the Eastern Division title on Saturday. It included losses on the last play to Baseline League champion Upland and a Vista Murrieta team that will play for the Inland Division title on Friday.

Following this year, Bryce sat down with his wife as he does every year. This one was different in that it was the first postseason conversation since they had even decided to have kids, much less had one one the way.

“We had just always thought that I’d be a coach because we didn’t think we wanted to have kids,” Bryce said. “But we changed our mind a while ago about having children and then we decided that I would take this year away from coaching. If after a year I still have the coaching bug, maybe I’ll give it a shot somewhere else.”

  • parent

    Congratulations to a fine coach and even better person. You will be missed greatly by the Etiwanda Football Family.

  • Upthemiddle

    Best of luck to Coach Bryce and his new addition to his family. Etiwanda’s football program will miss him.

  • Rich Metcalf

    Coach Bryce old buddy. All the way from Jamestown College. I read on Football Scoop you were stepping down. Man I wish you the best with the new addition. Take care and say hello to anyone from the JC days. I am coaching in Phoenix. Will be the DC at Central HS next year. look me up when you can.

    Take care
    Rich Metcalf

  • 7Rock

    Etiwanda did not lose on the last play to Upland.
    Upland was beating them the whole game.
    Etiwanda failed to tie it up on the last play.

  • Tbone

    Actually the eagles would have had to kick the PAT to tie the game and they could still win by going for two. Etiwanda did smack RCH around and E-high should have won that game easily. Did’nt matter because Centennial beat up a weak defense of the cougs. Both the eagles and cougs lose there QB’s and have to re-tool.

  • solomon

    7rock apparently u didnt watch the game. etiwanda lead 10-0 going to half time smartone