Anthony Rice resigned Friday after two seasons as the Pomona High School head football coach, opting to focus his efforts on seeking an administrative position. After winning two CIF-SS Central Division championships in four seasons at Colony High School, Rice was hired at Pomona prior to the 2010 season. Pomona went 5-5 in Rice’s first season before ending a seven-year playoff drought last season by posting a 6-5 mark good for a third-place finish in the Valle Vista League.
“I think we made good progress, but it was harder than I thought it would be,” Rice said. “When I first came on here, my thing was to try and get into administration. I told my wife it would be a two-year thing from the beginning.”
Just before Christmas break, Rice told Pomona principal Roger Fasting and athletic director Joe Biagioni he was considering resignation. The two convinced Rice to consider his options over the break, but he returned only to officially resign on Jan 13.
“I think it’s a sign of the times,” Biagioni said. “It’s tough to coach football, especially when you’ve got your own kids like he does. He did a great job for us and whoever takes over will be set up pretty well.”
Pomona won just 10 games during a four-year stretch prior to a 6-4 season the year before Rice arrived. Last season the Red Devils played Valle Vista League champion Covina it’s closest league game, a 16-14 Covina victory, but lost a 36-31 late-season game to San Dimas that dropped it to third place. Pomona was granted an at-large playoff berth only to draw eventual CIF-SS Mid-Valley Division champion Monrovia in the first round. Only Covina played Monrovia a closer game in the postseason than Pomona’s 24-7 loss.
Rice said he will explore several administrative options but coaching football in the future has not been ruled out. He would like to spend some time with his son, who will graduate Roosevelt High School next year, the same year his daughter will enter high school.
“I feel like the window of opportunity to get into administration is opening,” Rice said. “I’m going to explore some other options too. If something (football related) comes open, it will be something me and my wife will need to sit down and talk about.”