There was much talk last season about the Eagle Rock coaching staff leaving for Glendale to help coach Rafik Thorossian. The tide has turned to this side of town as Temple City newbie Anthony White has hired three former Eagle Rock/Glendale coaches to join his rapidly growing coaching staff at Temple City High. Jerry Chou will be the Rams’ defensive coordinator. He was previously the head coach at Eagle Rock and led the Eagles to two CIty Section championships in 2005 and 2006. Michael McKay will be the offensive coordinator, and he too served in the same capacity while at Eagle Rock. If you remember Jude Oliva was offered and accepted the offensive coordinator position at Temple City, but later had a change of heart and returned to San Gabriel. Now, here’s the kicker (you ready?) … Thorossian has joined the Temple City staff as well. He’ll be coaching the running backs. That means White has three former head coaches on his staff. White’s not messing around here. He means business and these additions are true evidence of that. Glendale went 1-9 two seasons ago. When Thorossian brough Chou and McKay on board the Nitros went 6-4 and missed the playoffs by a coin flip. White took some time to talk about how his staff came about and what we can expect from the Rams offense this upcoming season.
From The Sidelines: You must be some charmer because in a matter of a month you now have a high-quality staff that are not just veteran coaches but proven winners. Is that just the way you operate in general, realizing it’s always best to surround yourself by smart people to become successful?
Anthony White: Well one of the things is I’m a history teacher. JFK wasn’t the smartest man on earth. (Winston) Churchill and Rockefeller (either) but what they did was surround themselves by the brightest people that cared as much as them. That’s what I’m trying to do; being as positive and productive as possible.
FTS: Nobody can question that you’ve not only been positive but also very productive. Playing at Utah must have prepared you for all this since your coach had such a superb coaching staff, too.
White: Kyle Whittingham and Urban Meyer were big influences. Whittingham (Utah), Mike Stanford (UNLV), Dan Mullen (Mississippi State), Gary Anderson (Utah State) and Meyer (Florida) were all coaches on staff my senior year at Utah, and I learned from that, too.
FTS: How did this all happen, Chou, McKay and Thorossian coming to Temple City?
White: Well, I know (offensive line coach) Tony Sumida. He was my coach at Rosemead High, and he knew them. I had not met them personally but knew what they had done at Glendale. I reached out to them and they came on board. You always hear about free agents out there who can improve your staff and that’s what we wanted to do here at Temple City.
FTS: So now that you pretty much have your staff in place, what kind of offense will you be running?
White: We return a stout offensive line and we return one of the best running backs in the San Gabriel Valley (in Max Ruckle). We want to run the ball but be balanced as well. You don’t have to throw 50 yards to be a passing team, just throw short passes to move the chains. We want to run the ball, eat some clock and be smart.
FTS: Is it too early to tell who will replace Morgan Hatch at quarterback?
White: Still too early. But one of the great things about McKay is that he was a quarterback at Tulane University. With McKay we’ll be smart about throwing high percentage passes.
FTS: Is it safe to say the offense will be running through Ruckle?
White: It’s safe to say the offense is going to run through our offensive line and Max Ruckle will be huge of what we do at Temple City. We have about 25 players that didn’t play last year or the year before and they’re coming back for their senior year, so that’s exciting. The number that I had when we had our first meeting was 84 players. That’s up to 96 now. The first offensive and defensive practice was yesterday and we finished with 57 kids not counting the kids in track, volleyball and baseball.
For the record, Temple City’s schedule is the same as next year, except instead of playing San Gabriel the Rams take on Arcadia in Week 3. It’s being dubbed the “Brawl for the Mall.”