An eventful week at Miller High School ended with conclusion of its three-month search for a new head football coach. The replacement for Marcus Soward will be a 26-year-old first-time head coach from Clovis High School. Justin Nast, a Washington D.C. native, was impressive in his interview, as detailed in this story, but also did some interviewing of his own by getting in tough with former Miller coach Jeff Steinberg.
After interviewing football coaches for weeks, Miller athletic director John Romagnoli conducted an interview of a different nature Tuesday when he visited Eisenhower basketball coach Steve Johnson in the hospital. It was “a surreal day,” as described by Romagnoli, who is also the Miller basketball coach and has competed with Johnson for years in the Citrus Belt League.
The Miller girls basketball program was also highlighted this week, in a feature story on senior Rachel McCoy, who hadn’t played organized sports before high school. She is now a Division-I scholarship basketball player and a state champion in track despite only having competed for two seasons.
Damien High School’s search for a head football coach is over after it hired Mark Paredes, who spent the last three seasons as the head coach at Riverside North. Paredes replaces Greg Gano, who resigned in December after four seasons at Damien, where he posted a 20-22 overall record with two playoff appearances.
The last three years have been Paredes’ second stint at North after he coached there from 1994-2001, during which he won two CIF championships. Last season was a bit disappointing for North, which was expected to be a dangerous playoff team its first season in the Central Division. But the Huskies finished 6-5 after a first-round loss to eventual CIF champion, Kaiser. After a 2-8 season in 2010, Paredes led North to a 10-2 record in a 2011 season that also ended with a loss to an eventual CIF champ as Vista Murrieta dispatched the Huskies in the quarterfinals of the much tougher Inland Division.
The move back to the Catholic School system fulfills Paredes’ desire to return home to his coaching roots in the Catholic High School environment, according to a press release from Damien. Paredes will also serve as a history teacher.
As soon as his father died unexpectedly in October, Chino Hills coach Derek Bub knew he didn’t want his own children to feel like they missed out on time with their father. Bub finished out his fifth season as head football coach at Chino Hills High School, but resigned from the position Tuesday night in order to spend more time with his family.
“When my father passed away, I realized that I just needed to be a dad to my kids,” Bub said. “I take every Christmas break to think about whether I’m going to continue to coach. I was extremely close with my father and anytime something like this happens, it makes you see things differently.”
Tom Martinez confirmed in an email Tuesday evening that he is no longer the head football coach at Los Osos High School. Coach since the school’s inception in 2002, Martinez led the Grizzlies to eight playoff appearances in 10 seasons, including a postseason berth in 2012. He will remain the athletic director at Los Osos.
He did not explain whether it was his decision to step down or he was removed from the head football coaching position. “I will focus all my efforts on the AD job here at Los Osos HS,” Martinez wrote in an email.
Etiwanda High School’s search for a head football coach continues after former Damien coach Greg Gano withdrew his name from candidacy on Friday.
Gano, Damien’s head coach the last four seasons after stints at Covina Northview and Hacienda Heights Los Altos, has instead applied and interviewed for the head coaching job at Tustin. Gano was never offered the position at Etiwanda, according to Etiwanda athletic director David Masucci. The former Damien coach cited the lack of a teaching position at Etiwanda as his reason for withdrawing.
“Everything else was great because (Etiwanda) is even right by my house,” Gano said. “But without a teaching position, I just couldn’t afford it. So I interviewed for the Tustin position last week and I’m waiting to find out.”
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.”