Alta Loma hires Szczepanski as football coach

Alta Loma has hired former Bloomington Christian coach Joe Szczepanski as its next football coach according to an e-mail I received Monday afternoon from Alta Loma principal James Cronin. Szczepanski, who was the head man at Bloomington Christian the last three seasons and the defensive coordinator at Alta Loma from 2004-07, replaces Jose Fuentes, who resigned after losing all 20 games that he coached the last two seasons.

Szczepanski, who teaches at Alta Loma, compiled a 13-18 record in his three seasons at Bloomington Christian, taking the Ravens to the playoffs in 2009. Alta Loma made the playoffs in three of his four seasons as an assistant, as the Braves lost in the first round of the playoffs in 2004, 2005, and 2006.

“I’m happy to be back here,” Szczepanski said. “It was tough to teach here at Alta Loma and travel to Bloomington Christian to coach, so I’m looking forward to being on campus with these kids and really getting things started. There’s a buzz around campus and I want to take advantage of it.”

Szczepanski has a formidable task in front of him, as the Braves have a 24-game losing streak dating to 2007 and play in a brutal Baseline League. But the coach, who was also an assistant at Etiwanda and Montclair, is eager to begin the task at hand.

“We know we have a tough job, but we feel that we can pull it off,” the 42-year old Szczepanski said. “I believe in being aggressive and that’s exactly how we are going to approach this.”