Etiwanda close to hiring football coach

Etiwanda has yet to hire a football coach to replace Tommy Leach, who resigned Nov. 12, but the school has narrowed the number of candidates to four, according to athletic director David Masucci.

“We’re making progress but we haven’t hired anybody yet,” Masucci said. “We just got our new principal last Tuesday, so he’s just getting settled in but we should make the football coaching hire soon.”

One of the four candidates is Damien coach Greg Gano, according to Aram Tolegian of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Gano resigned from Damien on Dec. 9 after going 20-22 in four seasons at the school and two playoff appearances. Two of the other three finalists are Jason Smith, an Etiwanda assistant coach last season, and former San Dimas head coach Roland DeAnda.

Etiwanda’s head coaching position unexpectedly came open when Leach resigned after one season, citing the long daily commute from his teaching job at Temecula Chaparral. Leach coached Chaparral for five seasons, during which he won a CIF-SS Inland Division championship in 2009, before departing after the 2010 season. Prior to accepting the head coaching position at Chaparral, he was head coach at Diamond Ranch in 2004 and 2005. The Eagles went 4-6 and finished fourth in the Baseline League in their lone season under Leach, who took over after Steve Bryce resigned following a seven-year tenure.

Ten coaches applied for the opening at Etiwanda, which made the playoffs five consecutive years beginning in 2006 and shared two Baseline League championships during that stretch.

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