SEMI-BREAKING NEWS: Bassett names Craig Cieslik head coach …

Bassett High School has named Craig Cieslik to be its next football coach, replacing Leon Ward.

Cieslik’s last job was at La Sierra where he was the head coach for the 2007 and ’08 seasons before resigning just prior to the ’09 season due to personal issues. He is the youngest coach to ever reach a CIF title game, something he did at A.V. Christian in 1991 at the age of 18. His offense is “No huddle double wing fly” … which means Wing T with absolutely no breaks between plays. His teams have set state and national records for plays run per game (71) and points in a quarter (58), according to Cieslik.

Here’s the bad news, though. Cieslik reports he’s practicing with about 20 players in the week since he’s taken over. Not good! Cieslik says most of the players are sophomores because the returning upperclassmen don’t feel like they have to show up. Again, no bueno.

“It’s going to be tough,” Cieslik said of his task at Bassett. “I come from a completely different background of you’re going to show up and you’re going to run. So I don’t know if that’s scary to the kids, or they’re just not used to showing up.”

Here’s a Web site I found about Coach Cieslik.

Workman update: The Lobos reportedly have their man and it’s somebody most of us will recognize. They’re excited about it, but won’t have official word until early next week.

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  • Aaron

    Wasn’t the OC from San Dimas interested at Bassett and wasn’t he rumored to have gotten the job?

  • Trojans

    He coached at La Sierra High School.
    As did former Edgewood Head Coach, Hank Moore (83 – 87).

  • Inside


    I heard that John Strickland of SD was offered the position, but declined because they took so damn long. I heard there was a shouting match between the two sides. Probably just rumor. Too bad, from what I hear he would have turned that thing around in a hurry! Don’t know much about the new coach.

  • Get out of the Fish Bowl, Congrats to Bassett

    Aram hopefully you’re right about this pick. JK!

    Anyway I think Bassett made one hell of a hire. The man’s website is pretty impressive, as are all his records. Getting to a CIF Championship Game at 18 is pretty special. Salesian has a similar Head Coaching story in CIF Volleyball Championship Coach Walker who beat Olympian Karch Kilary’s team last year. Seems both men had a plan early on to affect young men’s lives and over come their own adversities.

    I’ve said all along Bassett needed some young, energetic, outside the box head coach and they got one. Bassett has always had talent but the area has been mired down in gang activity and administrative apathy for too long. Football could be a way out for so may kids who think the “neighborhood” is everything. Just look at Freds blog and the story on Robert Morales and his stupid way of life, that seemed so important at the time…at least to him.

    One thing this hire also shows is the washing machine of coaches in this area has got to stop, look outside the Fish Bowl and get some real talent in the coaching ranks. Imagine how many of Cathedral’ s or Serra’s assistant coaches would love HC gigs in this area we call home.

    Last point…still nothing for Morrison huh?

  • saladays

    Coach Cieslik is the real deal!!

    He is going to get it done over there if they give him the lee way and time. And it won’t take him long.

    I know you guys around here won’t know who he is but he is a real football coach.

    You wanna see some guys working in practice go check him out.

    He is the best coach in the valley I’m calling it right now.

  • saladays


    Still can’t believe it there are going be some great coaches who are going to go work with this guy.

  • Lancers02

    Congratulations Bassett. Now listen up Bassett Administration, if this is a one of life time hire, take care of him, listen to his needs, give him what he needs and most importantly SUPPORT your new head coach and he will hopefully provide a brand of leadership that brings a new Era of winning to a program so in desperate need of a major overhaul.

    Is Tony Zane staying on?

    Good Luck Coach Cieslik!

  • Very Impressed

    Coach Craig Cieslik has been coaching high school football since 1991. At the age of 18 years old he guided the A.V. Christian Eagles to the C.I.F. Championship game. This accomplishment made Coach Cieslik the youngest high school football coach in the nation to ever take a varsity football team to a sectional championship game. The record still stands today and will probably never be broken.

    Coach Cieslik is known for “turning struggling programs into winners.” He has accomplished this at his last 3 schools: Vasquez, Cleveland, Desert Hot Springs, and now at La Sierra High School where his team was in the hunt for a playoff spot after he took over a 1-9 program that scored only 84 points the year prior to him taking over. In the past 2 seasons La Sierra has gone from 1-9 to 6-4 and the offense he took over averaged 8.4 points a game prior to his arrival and with the “No-Huddle DoubleWingFly” La Sierra averaged over 30 points a game in 2008! He has proven himself at the small school and large school level. Coach Cieslik also has a slew of unbelieveable scoring records such as 58 points in a quarter, 74 points in a half, 89 points in a game, a running back scoring 9 T.D.’s in a single game, and the list goes on and on. In 2008, his La Sierra team became the “Fastest Offense ever in the History of High School Football in America” when La Sierra became the first team ever in the history of High School football to averaged oer 70 plays a game! They averaged 71 plays a game, a truly remarkable accomplishment. La Sierra also set 2 more National Records in 2008 by rushing the ball 87 times and 90 times in a game. They broke a 29 year old National Record. His teams are almost always the smallest and slowest team in their league, but Coach Cieslik has always excelled with these kinds of kids. He just seems to get the most out of his kids at each and every program he takes over. This makes his accomplishments even that much more impressive!

  • reality

    The reality is despite all the glowing posts about this guy,which I find very suspicious, I’ve never heard of him. .. Do you really think you can run a fancy no huddle offence at Bassett where players have little or no work ethic according to the new HC? Take a deep breath, slow down, coach who you got,don’t try and set scoring records,check your ego at the door and you may have a chance at a few wins. Otherwise the huge scores predicted will be all against you.

  • Aaron

    Aram I did some digging for you just to find out who this guy was.

    In Las Sierra’s last six years they’ve had Four winning seasons…just wait.
    Under Tony Barile
    2004: 8-3
    2005: 10-3
    Under Mike Churchill
    2006: 1-9
    Under Craig Cieslik
    2007: 4-6
    2008: 6-4
    Under Scott Booth
    2009: 6-5

    Check out these articles:

    La Sierra Against Arlington this past season:

  • saladays


    That fact that you don’t know who he is speaks more about you than about him.

    I’ve been in the sgv forever!!! The fact that you call the offense “fancy” just cements your football I.Q.

    If Godinez got the job at L.A. there would be kids quitting and questions about their work ethic from him. (those are good signs by the way, not bad signs) And Godinez would win championships at L.A.

    “Take a deep breath, slow down, coach who you got,don’t try and set scoring records,check your ego at the door and you may have a chance at a few wins”

    Spoken like someone who has never won big in his life. You can’t accomplish anything by being afraid Mr. Reality!

  • What a D!(K

    Posted by dennispope on November 16, 2008 1 Comment

    I covered the Moreno Valley-Riverside La Sierra varsity football game for the Riverside Press-Enterprise on Friday, Nov. 14, and came away thinking Eagles head coach Craig Cieslik was resigned to the fact that despite his teams 3-and-4 record in the Inland Valley League, La Sierra (6-4 overall) would not be playing beyond that night.

    His post-game speech to his players sounded more like a post-mortem. He told his players to return their gear on Monday, and please have it washed. There was no: We cant hang our heads. No: Weve got to get back to work. No: We have another game to play.

    None of that. Fridays 50-14 loss was effectually the end of their world, or at least their season.

    While I interviewed Coach Cieslik, players walked by and said things like: Thanks for not giving up on me, coach. And: I wouldnt be the person I am without you, coach.

    It was all very heart-wrenching, except for the fact that Cieslik wasnt touched by his players sentiments in the least. In fact, he was quite the opposite. He called his players soft and lazy. He said that his players quit on him after Week 6 or 7 and hadnt much cared for their feelings since.

    He said that the whole team lacked heart and determination and any will to work to get better. He went as far as to say: I just want to get the f*ck out of here. It was all very amusing, in its way. Coaches are often linguists in their teams darkest hour. The truth is that he said nothing different than any coach in his situation.

  • WTF

    Reality you have no clue what your are talking about. Your are a good example on why football sucks in this Valley. You never look out side this valley. You think that center of universe of high school footbal exist in this valley. This coach is very well known by people who know football. He is going to shock everyone. Bassit players get ready for a fun ride and work hard or leave either way this coach will be successfull.

  • Colts

    Aaron and Inside…

    Strickland was offered the job but no teaching position. There was a shouting match and everyone who know Strickland knows that’s the truth. Guy can’t keep his mouth shut. Probably would be a good fit over there, too bad it didn’t happen.

  • Inside


    You must have a grudge against Coach Strickland. He probably ripped you a new one at some point. I’m hearing the man commands a great deal of respect, and knows football as well as any coach in the valley. Also heard he use to coach at Covina, and since he left, the program has gone into the tank. Sound bitter to me Colts!!!! Bassett blew it by not hiring this guy.

  • The Farm

    Insider, anyone who knows anything knows that the words Respect and Strickland do NOT go hand and hand…ask anyone in over here. That’s why we got rid of him.

  • Inside

    The Farm, Colts

    Well, the man does have a ring!! I wonder if you can say the same???

  • trojan fan

    why does a coach that lives in riverside drive to Bassett after QUITTING on his team, in mid season to join a school district rifled with turmoil. Example, Supt. just quit, Principal is retiring,ex-booster up on embezzling charges. Sounds like a fun place to work.good luck with that.He says he won’t take any sh t from the kids good luck with that they will fold faster than he did at La Sierra.that hour and a half ride each day is going to take its toll on super coach or maybe he can ride in on angels wings and fix all of poor ole Bassett problems,again good luck with that as far as him retaining Coach Zane that would seem unlikely givin that coach loves to throw the ball, something that they did with a little bit of success last year.Don’t think that they throw many passes out of the double-wing off. By the way that was quite an accomplishment at the age of 19 back in 1991 but what have you done for me lately? Not setting any records sounds like to me it was one and done. And his other list off accomplishment sure doesn’t jump off the page. I think they would have been much better off with MR.Pace from the school down the street from them .talk about who goofed but thats Bassett the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.I will be real disappointed if Bassett is not contending for league champs this year because the talent is there unless super coach runs them off.

  • WTF

    Hey Trojan Fan, You have no clue what you are talking about. Just like most of the so called football experts in this valley. The football being played in this valley can not compete with anyone outside the area except for bishop. The rest of you are all losers just like Mr Trojan Fan. Trojan Fan do some research the base of all great football programs is the running game. Did you see the state finals most of the teams were a running version of the Double/Single wing offense. Coach Cieslik runs a proven offense. The rest of country knows it works except for this valley wait and see. Mr Trojan Fan go to seattle.

  • Shame on you

    Mexico is a corrupt country and so are the people that run the Bassett Unified School District and Administration. Bunch of self serving lackeys, who can give a shiat about the football program like Nero and Watanabe did. They don’t understand a winning football team builds character, dignity, morale and pride the community and students lacks.

    Viva La Raza and Mexican or Brown Pride Attitude my Azz just look at their Country going to hell! This new coach sounds like a great coach, but if he ran away from La Sierra, he will run faster after he deals with this new administration.

  • Dump Football @ Bassett

    Shame on you, is Watanabe Mexican? Not sure why you went racial to dump on Bassett when the school is a a holding cell for the area’s youth. How much can any administration do when the kids come to school with guns, knifes, and a complete lack of respect for authority …LEARNED AT HOME.

    Bassett should just shut down Football and concentrate sports that have a clear following. So what if Bassett loses players to other schools, so what. It’s not like their losing the most academic among them.

    Swimming, Tennis, Soccer, Water Polo, Track, X Country, Baseball, Softball and Volleyball would do well without Football at Bassett.

    Time to get tough with parents who don’t give a shiat about their kids and start putting money into parents and kids that do.

  • mr. trojan fan

    Hey wtf what are you this guys brother or something?I think I know a little bit about Bassett, As I said this guy could be the second coming of Woody Hayes and it still wouldn’t help out this bunch of lossers. You see the real problem lies with fundamentals which should be learned at a young age (Pop Warner, Jr. All-American,etc.)not at your freshman year. These kids are so far behide the curve that its not even funny. I know because I happened to have graduted from there and happened to know some of the people associated with the older administration. And the problem starts at the top, which at this point they still have no clue as to who is running the district let alone the school.And as i said prior the booster club president keeps running off with the dough. So as I said before lots of luck with your bro. but I don’t see him lasting that long already knowing his track record he will be heading for the hills faster than he did at La Sierra.Good night now!

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