Lance Ozier, a former standout on Fontana’s national championship football team in 1987, resigned his position as Steelers football coach last Thursday according to Fontana athletic director Amanda Bentley.
“(Ozier) left for what he said were personal reasons,” Bentley said.
Ozier took the head coaching job at Fontana in 2006 with the Steelers in the midst of a 19-game losing streak. That streak grew 10 more after an 0-10 season before Fontana won its 2007 season opener. Unfortunately, Ozier left Fohi with a sizable losing streak as well, as Fontana has lost its last 13 games dating back to Oct. 23, 2009, including an 0-10 record. Ozier finished his career with a record of 7-43.
“it was just the right time for me to go,” Ozier said. “With a new principal coming in, I had certain ideas and they had certain ideas and from that, it was best for me to leave at this time. I am a Fohi guy through and through and I always will be. I enjoyed coaching here. I really wish we could have won more, but I feel like I left this program in a better place from where I found it.”
Ozier will continue his job as a physical education teacher at Fohi until he assesses his next move, something that he’s mulling over at this time.
“It’s pretty early in the process, so I’m not exactly sure what the next step is,” Ozier said. “I’ve never been in this situation before. I’ve been coaching for 16 years and if someone will have me, I’d like to coach somewhere again in the future.”
Fontana will start its search for the next head coach in a week or two according to Bentley, allowing Ozier to explain his decision to his current players.
“We are giving him some time to speak to the players before we make the next step,” Bentley said. “Then we’ll be working hard to find our next coach.”
Bentley also stated that the school has hired Lauren Fernandes and Cheryl Salazar to coach the swimming and diving team this spring.