The summer of change at Eisenhower High School has continued, with the naming of a new athletic director, football coach and baseball coach.
Gilbert Pulido, who has been at the school coaching baseball for the last eight years, takes over as athletic director. He takes over for Steve Johnson, who was asked not to return as A.D. Johnson was shot in a park in San Bernardino in January and had already stepped down as boys basketball coach.
Pulido has been the head baseball coach at the last five years, going 3-22 last year in the rugged Citrus Belt League.
It wouldn’t be fair to say Ryan Clady is Eisenhower High School’s finest football product considering Ronnie Lott, for whom the school’s football field is named, was a member of the class of 1977. The Denver Broncos left tackle, however, has established himself as one of the best in football at his position. Now he’s getting paid like it.
Clady signed a five-year $52.5 million extension today that includes $33 million guaranteed in the first three years. The guaranteed money in that time frame easily bests the contracts of the St. Louis Rams’ Jake Long ($12 million) and Houston Texans’ Duane Brown ($22 million). Only Joe Thomas received more with $40 million in his first three years with the Cleveland Browns.
Former Fontana High School basketball player Demetrius Walker, who played at the University of New Mexico last season, has transferred to Grand Canyon University in Arizona.
Grand Canyon, which will compete in its first season in the Western Athletic Conference this year, is coached by former NBA player Dan Majerle.
“We are excited to have a player of Demetrius’ ability that has played at both New Mexico and Arizona State,” said Majerle in a press release. “It is good to have him here at GCU, as he brings with him a lot of experience and can score the basketball. He will be big for our team next season having a guy that we can go to. ”
Last season, Walker, a 6-foot-2 guard, averaged 5.0 points and 15.4 minutes per game for New Mexico, the Mountain West Conference champions. Walker graduated from New Mexico in May and will pursue a graduate degree from Grand Canyon. Walker began his college career with one season at Arizona State in 2009 before transferring to New Mexico.
Decorated coach Steve Johnson will not return as Eisenhower High School’s athletic director or boys basketball coach this coming school year, according to Rialto Unified School District director of communications Syeda Jafri.
The two-time Daily Bulletin Coach of the Year returned to his athletic director position briefly after recovering from gunshot wounds suffered Jan. 21 at an inner-city park in San Bernardino.
The 47-year-old Johnson was not asked to return as athletic director by newly appointed Eisenhower principal Scott Sparks. Johnson chose not to return as boys basketball coach for a program he turned into one of the area’s best over the last 19 years.
“Both the new Rialto and Eisenhower principals opened the athletic directors’ positions up going toward a different direction,” Jafri said. “Mr. Johnson chose not to return to coach basketball for next school year. The district has not opened the position yet.”
Player of the Year: Jacob Nottingham 12 Redlands
Justin Hendricks 12 Cajon
Mike Quinonez 12 Cajon
Cody Swanson 12 Cajon
Marc Barajas 12 Eisenhower
Andrew Agundez 12 AB Miller
Anthony Aguila 12 Redlands
A day after publicly announcing his resignation as football coach at Eisenhower, Vinny Fazio accepted the head coaching position at Murrieta Valley on Friday.
In his second season as a head coach, Fazio won’t be called to engineer a turnaround the likes of which he achieved his lone season at Eisenhower. Murrieta Valley finished second in the powerful Southwestern League and lost in the quarterfinals of the playoffs to eventual CIF champion Corona Centennial.
“Professionally, this is the best day of my life,” Fazio said. “I’ve found the place where I want to be for the rest of my career.”
If Fazio had it his way, he would have never left Eisenhower. But The school whose football program hadn’t had a winning season since 2002, issued Fazio a pink slip in March.
On Thursday, it was Ayala freshman Sydney Tullai dropping jaws at the Sierra League finals track meet by winning the 800 meters, 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters. (Check out the photo gallery) It’s a combination of events so taxing – “insane,” was the term of preference for Chino Hills coach Richard Morales – that Tullai won’t be able to run all three at CIF-SS Preliminaries on May 11. She’s leaning toward the 3,200, but her decision will be jut one of many interesting story lines heading into the posteason.
On Friday at Baseline League finals (photo gallery) Upland’s Myles Valentine tied the top wind-aided 100 meter time in the state this season with a 10.36-second effort. The runner he tied was defending state champion Khalfani Muhammad, who defeated Valentine two weeks earlier at the Mt. SAC Relays, prompting this statement: “I knew at that point,” Valentine said, “I wasn’t going to finish second again.” He hasn’t.
When the final vote came in last night, Miller and Eisenhower didn’t have to worry about being ousted from the Citrus Belt League in favor of Carter and Citrus Valley. Now they’re all in the same league.
The Citrus Belt League became an eight-team league Monday evening in a vote that adopted the 19th of 35 proposals for the Citrus Belt area. The changes will take effect in the fall of 2014. Instead of half the Citrus Belt League making the playoffs, only three of the eight teams will receive automatic postseason berths.
Several coaches were understandably not particularly happy with this. To read their reactions, check out Staff Writer Pete Marshall’s story from the releaguing meeting last night. To see the new leagues, click on the thread below.
There were plenty of variations in the 35 releaguing proposals for the Citrus Belt area to be decided between today, some of which had longtime members Miller and Eisenhower exiting the Citrus Belt League. A meeting at Arroyo Valley today, which will assuredly be lengthy, will emerge with the releaguing moves that will take effect in the fall of 2014.
Some of the exciting possibilities? Citrus Valley, which has dominated the Mountain Valley League, was a popular pick to enter the Citrus Belt League. Carter, which has won the San Andreas League in football the last two years, was also granted entrance into the CBL in several proposals.
Staff Writer Pete Marshall reviewed all 35 of the releaguing proposals submitted to the committee. Check out the story he wrote about them.