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 coach Tommy Leach resigned Nov. 12 after one season as head football coach, according to Etiwanda athletic director David Masucci. 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.
The former Temecula Chaparral and Diamond Ranch coach was making a 110-mile commute round trip from his teaching job at Chaparral, where he was the head coach from 2006-2010.
“I think he thought it was going to be easier than it was to make the drive back and forth,” Masucci said. “And he’s the type of coach that, if he’s not able to give everything, he won’t do it. He said he felt like he was always behind, always chasing.”
Leach was the head coach at Diamond Ranch in 2004 and 2005 before taking over at Chaparral, where he won a CIF-SS Inland Division championship in 2009. Etiwanda will soon begin to accept applications for the position both inside and outside the Chaffey Joint Union School District.
Rancho Cucamonga High School baseball coach Joe Laski was fired on Wednesday, according to multiple sources, eight games into his tenure as the Cougars head coach. The reason for Laski’s termination remains unknown. When reached by phone on Thursday, Laski declined comment. Rancho Cucamonga athletic director Sean Sullivan also declined to comment on the matter.
“I have strict instructions not to comment in any way about that issue,” Sullivan said.
Laski, a Rancho Cucamonga resident, is also a teacher at Baldwin Park High School. For the previous seven years Laski was the head baseball coach at Gabrielino High School before Rancho Cucamonga hired him July 12 to replace Chris Amaya, who mysteriously resigned in May following his fifth year as the Cougars head baseball coach and the team’s fourth consecutive postseason appearance.
A school official coached Rancho Cucamonga in today’s 7-3 victory over Upland. The win gave the Cougars an overall record of 3-6 on the season and evened its Baseline League record at 1-1.
Aquinas High School football coach Nick Matheny is up for approval to assume Fontana High School’s head football coaching position, according to the agenda for Wednesday’s Fontana Unified School District board meeting. When reached by phone Tuesday evening, Matheny could not comment on his status as the new Fontana football coach.
If approved, Matheny will be Fontana’s third head coach in three years. In three years as the Aquinas head coach, Matheny’s teams have posted a combined 26-9 record and won two league championships.
Fontana has won one game in its last two seasons combined, going winless in 2010, the final season of the five-year tenure of Lance Ozier, and 1-9 under Tim Pike last season. Matheny is a Fontana High School graduate who played his freshman season for the Steelers in legendary coach Dick Bruich’s final year at the school.
Lou Randall was hired on Tuesday as the new head football coach at Don Lugo, according to Don Lugo athletic director Joe Marcos. Randall won three CIF championships during a tenure at Riverside North, his last stop as a head coach, that ended in 2007. He was an assistant coach at Chino Hills last season.
Randall was interviewed Friday along with six other candidates from the Chino Valley Unified School district. He was officially notified of his selection on Tuesday.
“With Lou, it was his experience that stood out,” Marcos said. “He has won in several places. He has a great resume. I’ve known about him for a long time. There were a lot of good candidates even though it was all in house, so it wasn’t an easy decision.”
Seven candidates have been selected from within the Chino Valley Unified School District to be interviewed Feb. 17 for the vacant Don Lugo head football coaching job, according to Don Lugo athletic director Joe Marcos. Rick Martin retired Jan. 26 after four years at the helm. Don Lugo is not required to choose one of the seven candidates.
“After the interviews, we’ll see,” Marcos said. “We opened (the job) up to the district and if we’re not satisfied after the interviews, we’ll open it up to the outside.”
Thomas Leach was approved Tuesday by the school board to become Etiwanda’s new head football coach. After head coaching stints for two and five seasons, respectively at Diamond Ranch and Chaparral, Leach will take over for Steve Bryce, who resigned following last season.
“He seems like the type of guy that if we lose a game, it’s not going to be because he got outcoached,” Etiwanda athletic director David Masucci said. “He puts in the time and he cares a great deal about what he does. He’s a players’ coach, the type that gets his players to run through walls for him.”
Leach posted a 47-19 record in five seasons at Chaparral, winning a CIF-SS Inland Division championship in 2009. He was most recently an assistant coach for Norco after departing Chaparral following the 2010 season.
Thomas Leach, previously the head football coach at Temecula Chaparral and Diamond Ranch, will be recommended for board approval on Tuesday as Etiwanda High School’s new head football coach, according to the Chaffey Joint Union High School district board agenda. If approved, Leach will replace Steve Bryce, who resigned following last season, his seventh season at the helm for Etiwanda.
Leach coached Temecula Chaparral for five seasons before departing after the 2010 season. He was an assistant coach for Norco last year. Prior to accepting the head coaching position at Chaparral, he was the Diamond Ranch head coach in 2004 and 2005 following a stint as an assistant at Huntington Beach Edison. Etiwanda athletic director David Masucci declined to comment prior to Leach’s board approval.
After 12 years at the helm, Bonita head football coach Eric Podley will step down… but not very far. According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune’s story special teams coordinator Adrian Medrano will take over as head coach and Podley will be his offensive coordinator.
Podley led the team to two league titles, nine playoff appearances and the CIF-SS Southeast Division championship game two seasons ago where the Bearcats lost a game for the ages, 37-33, to West Covina. Bonita’s long time head coach struggled with a health issue last season, an infection that caused him to drop a large amount of weight, that played a large role in his decision.
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.”