Melendez: Some of these searches go on forever


It seems everywhere I go on assignment these days there’s a handful who ask the same question:

Any word on who will coach at “fill in the blank”?

Today marks the end of February and, after almost three months, there still is no official word on who will be head football coach at Pasadena, Temple City, La Caada and Duarte high schools.

The domino effect began last December when Kevin Mills resigned as coach of the Bulldogs.

Then came Randy Backus’ firing at Temple City in January, followed by Rich Wheeler’s announcement he was retiring at La Caada and finally Wardel Crutchfield’s firing at Duarte.

Of the four schools, La Caada has made the most progress. That’s saying something since the Spartans were one of the last schools to announce the hiring search.
“We didn’t want to wait long,” La Caada athletic director Tamar Hill said.

The Spartans didn’t.

Hill said they’re waiting for board approval and it could be announced within the next month.

“I think this person will be excellent for our program,” Hill added.

Believe you me, I tried prying the name but to no avail. My pledge to you, the reader, is to have that name come next week’s column or sooner.
Duarte has made considerable progress, too.

“It’s pretty much in play and we’re just tying some loose strings,” Duarte athletic director Robyn Garcia said. “I just have to wait for certain answers from the district.”

Garcia said there is no timetable to announce the hiring, but she did say she was attending a conference next week and she’d like to have everything in place before she leaves for the trip.

“We want to move forward but it’s out of my personal control,” she said.

Garcia would not divulge information when asked if former La Puente coach Ray Hernandez and former Blair and Marshall coach Tip Sanders were finalists for the job.

It’s more than what Pasadena and Temple City high schools can say.
It’s been two months, and both schools still are sorting through resumes.

Temple City athletic director John Van De Veere said the school will close the application process today and at least 14 candidates have applied.

“We will begin paper screening Monday, and hopefully within a week after that we will have interviews and go from there,” Van De Veere said. “That’s all I can really tell you.”
Pasadena athletic director Tony Brooks initially said the school wanted to have someone in place by February. After all, spring ball is not that far away.

But the school has made little progress.

“We are in the middle of it, put it that way,” Brooks said. “We are still going through resumes and narrowing names down and we’ll come up with a name I’m sure shortly, but we’re still in the process right now.”

Brooks would not give a number of applicants.

“When the hiring panel or committee comes to an answer and we get a name everyone has settled on, I’ll definitely let you know,” Brook said.

I’m holding you to it, Tony.


“Too often we see stories of high school football players in trouble with the law. What is often missed are the many players who work hard on the field and in the classroom to become good citizens.”

Those are the opening remarks to an e-mail sent to me by the Pasadena-San Gabriel Valley Chapter of the National Football Foundation.

Twenty six area players will be honored at Monday’s scholar athlete banquet at Brookside Country Club.

Area honorees include Alhambra’s Daniel Imaa; Flintridge Prep’s Alec Storrie Lombardi; La Caada’s David Goldstein and Michael Weston; Muir’s Tramel Clipper and Tyree Mills and St. Francis’ Kevin Mitchell.

The next Mia Hamm?

That I’m not certain about, but what I am certain is Samantha Whitehead’s star potential.

Don’t be fooled by her seemingly fragile frame.

She’s a sophomore midfielder for the La Salle High School girls soccer team. It lost Thursday in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division IV playoffs, but Whitehead sported a smile even after a painful loss in which the Lancers held a 2-0 lead at the half.

She’s extremely fast and despite her small frame she’s as physical as they come.

She’s also diabetic.

In one hand she carries her soccer bag. And in the other she carries her insulin pump.

Even though she makes some of us look like chumps on the pitch, I’m excited to see her maximize her potential over the next two years.
(626) 578-6300, Ext. 4485

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