10 Questions with … Pasadena’s Mike McFarland

**The new thread “Behind the Feature” debuted last week and seemed to be a hit with you guys. In that spirit, I’m implementing this new thread as well and we’re calling it “10 Questions with … ” The subject of this edition is newly hired Pasadena football coach Mike McFarland.**

On Thursday, Pasadena High School announced Mike McFarland would be the next football coach. A product of Arcadia High, McFarland previously coached at Muir, Keppel, Occidental College, Minnesota State University-Moorhead and most recently as tight ends coach at Missouri Western University. McFarland lettered in football, basketball and track and he earned his bachelor of arts degree in social sciences from California Lutheran University in 1997.

McFarland recently took some time from his busy schedule in St. Joseph, Mo., to talk with the Star-News about his hiring.

Question: Mike, you’ve bounced around from place to place and have spent a good time in the Midwest. What’s it like to finally be coming back home?

Answer: It’s very exciting. I’m from Arcadia and obviously spent a good portion of my time in southern California and in the San Gabriel Valley in particular. My wife (Tiffany) is from Pasadena so we’re very excited to be coming home to be around friends and family. It’s going to be a real positive thing to go home, that part is (a) real attractive part of (this) position.

Q: Not only do you get to come home and be with friends and family but you get to do what you love here where you grew up playing sports.

A: It is a special to go home and coach in an area that I grew up playing football. In terms of Pasadena itself, growing up I witnessed first hand the players and teams they had in football and basketball and just growing up playing youth sports having a ton of respect for the competition.

Q: Mike, how do you plan on changing the stigma that Muir is a football school and Pasadena is a basketball school?

A: I think what’s funny is — and I’m speaking out of terms because I’m not part of the older generation — you talk to older people and they’ll tell you the opposite. Pasadena was the football power, but number one I think it goes in a cycle. From a football stand point, Muir has that rivalry on lock right now because of the winning streak. When the rivalry is that one-sided, those kinds of perceptions will (come up). I coached basketball at Muir in the late 90’s and we had a great team.

Q: Have you had the opportunity to meet the team and speak with them yet?

A: I haven’t gotten an opportunity to meet them. That first talk I think is a little bit overrated. it’s just an opportunity for players to get their first impression. in that situation the most important thing is to get their attention. I’ve got literally things I can’t think about I’ll have to do once I get out there and rolling.

Q: Such as?

A: Those things will include putting a staff and evaluating what we have and watch last season’s games and evaluate what the talent level is and what we have coming back. Obviously, academically we’ll have to look and see how guys are performing and make sure we finish the year strong so everybody we’re counting on playing will continue to participate.

Q: How quick will we see you put a coaching staff together?

A: It’s not something I’ll do immediately. It’s not like in college where in the off-season you have to get a staff together quickly so you can recruit. In this situation, here I think it’s crucial to make sure we find the right guys that are interested. As of right now I don’t have any preconceived notions about anybody. i have not had any opportunity to talk to anybody that was on staff.

Q: What immediate steps do you take once you arrive?

A: The off-season program, when it comes to strength and conditioning, that will be something we’ll implement.

Q: How soon can we expect to have you in town?

A: My goal is to be out there beginning of April and if for some reason the getting-cleared takes longer then I’ll have to wait it out.

Q: What will you be teaching at Pasadena?

A: Well, my degree is in social science so I imagine it’ll be something in that subject whether it’s history or government.

Q: Is your family coming along with you, too?

A: My family will be coming out in June. My two stepdaughters (Breanna and Brittany) are going to finish school here in Missouri. I also have a newborn (3 months) so we don’t want to rush the moving part. I have friends and family who I can bum off of for a while until we get settled.

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Baseball: Temple City comes up big in the sixth, beats San Marino, 3-0; Monrovia scores seven in the first, routs La Caada, 12-0 in Rio Hondo League opener

Temple City (5-1) scored all three runs in the sixth inning and the Rams’ Christian Cano got things started. He walked to lead off the inning and Brenden Pultz got on after getting hit by the pitcher. San Marino was keeping Cano on check at second and Chris Warren overthrew to second, moving Cano to third and Pultz to second. Ruben Jara doubled to bring hom Cano and Pultz to make it 2-0 and Morgan Hatch’s triple brought home Jara from second to make it 3-0. The Titans (5-2) threatened in the seventh but to no avail as Stevie Yortsos’ check swing was called a strike to record San Marino’s third and final out. More on this game by staff writer Miguel A. Melendez. That would be me.

Monrovia (5-2) recorded seven runs off La Caada pitcher Jeff Oechsec to jump to a 7-0 lead in the opening inning. Chris Calver hit a two-run homer to cap a 3-run fifth inning and increase Monrovia’s lead to 10-0 at that point. The Wildcats scored again twice in the seventh to extend their three-game winning streak and hand the Spartans (6-1) their first loss. Ironically, Monrovia recorded just one strikeout while La Caada struck out eight. More on this game in tomorrow’s sports section by correspondent Mario Aguirre.

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New Rule: All anonymous comments will be deleted

Yes, you’ve pushed me to go this far. I’m getting stick and tired of all these anonymous posts. It’s great that you post but please oh please pick a name already! Very soon, we will require you guys to register one time so you can post a comment. Once you’ve registered you won’t be asked to register again and your posts will be “trusted” to publish. If you don’t register, you won’t get to comment. Since you have to register why not pick a cool name and stick to it all year? C’mon guys, get with it. I’m giving you until the weekend to come up with a blog name. Starting Monday, all anonymous posts will be deleted. This might affect our numbers but frankly I don’t care anymore. You’ve been warned….

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March Madness: Take that, President Obama!

Well, so much for thinking President Obama knows what he’s talking about. I’m almost certain the Secret Service, CIA and FBI will come for me moments after this publishes for sticking it to our beloved president. But the truth of the matter is Mr. Obama was wrong as were the many pundits who picked UCLA to lose in the first round. Let it be known: Mr. Obama went 11-5 in his first round predictions and I went 14-2. Don’t believe me? Click here to check out my bracket on ESPN.com … Maybe I should get offered a Cabinet post. Hey, I pay my taxes! Now, all we need is for USC to lose and I’m all set. It’s not too late for yall to jump on the Bruins bandwagon and ride them all the way to the Final Four. Go Bruins!

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Melendez: PHS takes McFarland, but why so long?


This column will appear on Page 3B of the Star-News sports section on Friday, March 20

Well, it’s about time.

It only took four months but Pasadena High School finally has a new football coach.
He is Mike McFarland. He replaces Kevin Mills who resigned in November.

Despite word leaking on the Star-News’ preps blog (www.insidesocal.com/paspreps) that McFarland was hired, Pasadena principal Derek Evans would not confirm or deny the hiring.

He said he wanted the announcement to be done in a professional matter, and by that he meant he wanted us to wait until the school sent out an official press release.

For a school that needed four months to comb through resumes, handling this in a “professional” matter seems farfetched.

Pasadena was the first school to announce a vacancy and it’s the second to last school to hire a new coach.

Temple City, the second school in the West San Gabriel Valley to announce a football coaching vacancy after Pasadena, still is going through the final process and is expected to present a finalist to the school board in a meeting Wednesday.

For what it’s worth, Evans explained the prolonged process.
Continue reading “Melendez: PHS takes McFarland, but why so long?” »

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