I’m resigned to the fact that it ain’t worth it to be a football coach …

Here is my column from Saturday, in case you missed it.

If I had it to do all over again, the last thing I’d aspire to become is a high school football coach.

That sentiment comes straight from the “Knowing what I know now file …”

And it’s not like I could anyway, but thank heavens I didn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but respect for the coaches I cover. But, it isn’t worth it.

Not these days, anyway.

I’m not talking about money. The amount earned compared to the time invested is a well-known scam. But I’m not talking about that.

I’m talking about dealing with the parents. One false move. One perceived slight to a kid whose daddy thinks he’s the next Cam Newton when he’s really the next Joe Nobody, and you’ve got serious problems.

And I do mean serious problems.

I mean find another line of work problems.

I mean kiss your teaching credential goodbye problems.

I mean unplug the family computer problems.

No thank you.

Recently, two area football coaches walked away from their jobs because they were backed into a corner and figured it was better to save their careers than to fight and be fired.

Mike Mooney was the assistant principal at San Marino in addition to being head coach of the football team. Mooney had built a reputation as being one of the most respected coaches around. Now he’s looking for other work.

Brian Zavala was a teacher and head coach of the football team at Wilson. He had paid his dues as an assistant coach with good success and finally had been handed the keys to his own program. He’s also looking for work.

Zavala lasted two years. Mooney didn’t even make it past the season. The schools cannot release information as to the two resignations, per district policy. They can simply confirm the decisions of both coaches.

Both coaches have declined to talk on the record about why they felt the need to resign and salvage their careers. Both coaches are family men.

I have been told from reliable sources what the reasons were and it’s not good enough. Not even close.

If the coaches were in fact guilty of the allegations, in neither case did it amount to being fired. That is unless, of course, an angry parent or two wanted to turn the screws on school administrators, and thus create a situation where either the administrators risked their own skin to go to bat for the coaches and probably somewhere down the road risked losing their own job.

In this era in which every person in any type of profession knows his co-workers and superiors are out to protect their own butts, we all know how the situation would’ve turned out for both coaches.

Mooney and Zavala’s situations were very different, but how they arrived at the same point is nearly identical. In both cases, a parent or parents felt wronged by the coach. They did some digging and started throwing things against the wall until something finally stuck.

Were both coaches guilty of some wrongdoing? From what I hear from sources, yes. Did the wrongdoing warrant a resignation to avoid a potential firing?

In my opinion, which is based on what I’ve seen in the past in similar situations, no.

But that’s clearly the world we live in now. If somebody has a grudge, they lay in the weeds until they can nail you.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever done something at your job that would’ve gotten you in trouble IF somebody with a reason to want you gone had been watching.

Now put your hands down, all of you, and consider that when it comes to high school football coaches, aka makers of men, that’s the situation they’re all in on what’s becoming a daily basis.

It’s not right that our local coaches have to walk around on egg shells. Yet that’s exactly what they’re doing these days, and that’s a big reason why most of the ones I’ve talked to have at some point mentioned getting out of the profession.

Who would it cost most if Jim Singiser decided to only teach at Arroyo? Who would it hurt if Mike Maggiore told West Covina to keep the football field, he’s staying in the classroom. Who would be gypped if Ryan Maddox threw up his hands and said, “I’m not dealing with this anymore!” and decided to make Monrovia a 9-to-5 job?

Your kids, that’s who. The youth of our communities, that’s who. When a parent somewhere, anywhere in this Valley – I’m talking the ones with pools in their backyards to the ones with no backyards – take measures to get good men fired or forced out, it affects all of us.

Football is supposed to be fun. Playing it is supposed to be fun. Coaching it is supposed to be fun. Is it also serious? Hell, yes. If it wasn’t we wouldn’t care as much about it as we do.

We wouldn’t let it be jammed down our throats by this newspaper, multiple websites and ESPN.

Clearly, however, it’s not as fun as it used to be. You know, like back in the days when football coaches weren’t questioned for every move and they didn’t have snipers in the stands ready to fire at the first sign of a perceived slight.

We can learn a lot from the past. For instance, there was a time not too long ago when coaches stayed in their positions for longer than it takes this year’s freshman class to become seniors. There used to be a time when school administrations weren’t so scared of a rock breaking the glass house.

Perhaps it’s time for all parents and administrators to enjoy a much-needed history lesson.

Sources: Wilson gauging interest from Morrison and Rohrer; Arellanes rumors not going away …

UPDATE: Spoke to Coach Morrison and he said “Right now, I’m not interested. With that said it would be irresponsible of me not to explore any situation that’s out there. Nor have I been contacted by anybody from the school district or school. It’s going to take a lot to beat the job I have now because I have a great administration and our kids are getting after it in the weight room, and we’re gonna be better in a year and even better than that in two years.

Sources say that both Workman coach Scott Morrison and La Puente coach Brandon Rohrer have been approached by the district to see if they’d be interested. The feeling among several coaches who have applied is that the district is simply making the “accepting resumes” process a token gesture, but really has its heart set on either Morrison or Rohrer. Obviously, if either left, that would leave an opening at Workman or La Puente, but it’s unclear if those applying for the Wilson job would have interest in working elsewhere in the district, as in the Montview League. The rumors aren’t going away at Los Altos that head coach Jim Arellanes will not be back next season. I have it from multiple sources that Arellanes is looking into jobs elsewhere and much of this has to do with Los Altos reportedly not being able to bring Arellanes back next season. I’m not sure I understand why that would be, but the reports of Arellanes looking elsewhere appear to be very real. Rumors are also swirling about South Hills coach Steve Bogan being interested in the Maranatha job. I’ve heard from multiple sources that there’s a lot too this and something could happen soon. Obviously, making the transition from a public school to a private will require plenty of salary/retirement tinkering, but Damien was able to pull off something similar two years ago with Greg Gano. Yes, it’s scary to think what Maranatha might become under a coach like Bogan. I mean very, very scary. And that would be bad news for the schools who currently pillage the Pasadena area for talent. Lastly, former San Marino quarterback Dan Loyd reportedly has dropped out of the running for the San Marino job. John Tuttle, who has coached at San Marino previously, is looking like the front runner. Enjoy the Super Bowl.

Former Trib Player of the Year Adam Muema bounces back after taking bat to the head at Covina party …

Just when things couldn’t be going any better for former Charter Oak High School running back Adam Muema, it all came crashing down.

Muema, while attending a party at a home in Covina last May, intervened in a fight taking place between the home’s owner and some unwanted guests. Next thing he knew, he was on his way to an emergency room after somebody hit him on the head with a baseball bat.

“I fell, but I didn’t black out or anything,” Muema said. “It felt like I got punched in the face. I was ready to fight, actually, but my friend looked at me right after and said, `We have to get you to the hospital.’ ”

Muema received stitches and was told by a doctor he needed to follow up with an optometrist because of injuries he suffered to his left eye. The 2009 Tribune Player of the Year’s problems were just beginning.

Muema’s vision in his left eye began to rapidly deteriorate. After being seen by an eye specialist, Muema was told he had a macular hole in the retina of his left eye for which surgery was required.

A month before graduation from Charter Oak and two months before the beginning of his college career at San Diego State, Muema’s football playing days suddenly were in doubt.

“I had to wait for my insurance to get approved and I finally had surgery on June 21,” Muema said. “For my eye to get better, I had to keep my head down.”

The procedure required fluid to be drained from his eye socket so a gas bubble could be placed behind his eye to apply pressure to the back of his retina. He was given special equipment to keep his head down, including a mirror that would allow to him reflect the picture from his television so he could watch TV.

“I actually had the doctor tell me I might not be able to play contact sports anymore,” Muema said. “I’ve been playing football since I was 4. It’s my love.”

At Charter Oak, Muema led the Chargers to two CIF Southeast Division championships and rushed for 1,938 yards and 23 touchdowns in his senior season.

The legend of Muema’s athletic abilities still elicits awe from his former coaches and former teammates. But without a proper vision there’s no way he could be expected to compete at the college level.

Muema quickly fell out of shape and lost 20 pounds and most of his endurance.

But with a chance to redshirt, he sprung into action after being given clearance by his doctors.

Muema joined the Aztecs after Week 3 of the season and was able to take contact in practice.

“I’ve still got it,” Muema said. “It was a blessing.”

Offseason workouts are going well for Muema, who said he’s now one of the strongest players on the team. Cracking the Aztecs’ backfield rotation won’t be easy, especially after the strong season turned in by freshman tailback Ronnie Hillman.

But no matter what happens in the coming four years, Muema already has learned a valuable life lesson about how fast things can unravel.

He also learned another when given a shot at revenge against those who chose to use a bat as a means to end a fist fight.

A week before leaving for San Diego last summer, Muema was at another party where his assailants also were attending. Despite possessing the type of frame that few people would want any part of in a street fight, Muema chose not to make the situation worse.

“I didn’t want any trouble,” Muema said. “Well, I did, but I didn’t want to do anything before I came down here. I knew it was them the whole time I was there. They looked over at me and I just left.

“I was angry. But you see, I’ve got a lot going and they probably have nothing better to do but tag or something.”

Looking ahead to Signing Day 2012 … What’s next year’s crop look like?

Muir’s Kevon Seymour will certainly have his share of suitors.

This year was a banner year for the Valley and Whittier in terms of D-1 signees. Who will be part of the group that carries the torch next season?

I can use your help here, so feel free to post. Here’s what I’ve got so far …

Monrovia’s Ellis McCarthy will be the prized recruit of the group. We know what already. West Covina coaches are confident that Tribune Player of the Year Chris Solomon is a D-1 talent. I’ve seen nothing to make me disagree, but is Solomon a D-1 talent at running back? That’s hard to say. I say he’s more a defensive back. If you saw him play there this season, then you know what I mean. The kid had a great year on defense, but it’s lost in the mix. College recruiters will probably be all over Muir’s Kevon Seymour as a defensive back. Uh … now I’m losing steam.

Signing Day is special to the parents, too …

PASADENA – With her son Chase about to be part of a photo session at the Rose Bowl with other local high school football players signing their college letters of intent on Wednesday, Theresa Price needed to excuse herself from the festivities.

Price went to her car parked nearby, and sat down as a flood of emotions about the experience of being the parent of a high-profile athlete about to realize his dream hit her.

“I had to go to the car because I shed some tears because I was overjoyed,” Price said. “To see him be a part of this with all those other great athletes, those young men, and just thinking about how hard they worked, I had some tears.”

Chase Price, a running back from Diamond Ranch High, signed with San Diego State on Wednesday. Athletic success is nothing new to the Price family.

Price’s mother Theresa was a volleyball player at Long Beach State. Her husband Ricky played running back at Utah. So Chase simply is following in the family tradition.

Tuesday’s photo op at the Rose Bowl and Wednesday’s actual signing and fax deliveries of each football player’s letter of intent proved to be an emotional time for all of the parents involved.

Like the Price family, football success is nothing new to the Sanders. La Salle’s Kishon Sanders, whose grandfather is Duarte football coach Tip Sanders, signed his letter to play at UTEP next season.

For Kishon’s mother, Latasha, the time commitment needed to help her son reach his dream was what came to mind to first.

“I don’t even know where to start,” Latasha Sanders said. “From flag football until now, next year is going to be my first year that I don’t have to worry about going to practice, going to Chick’s or Dick’s, buying cleats, buying every Under Armor that comes out, all these wrist bands and arm bands, going to parent meetings, going to games on Friday nights and going to 8 o’clock Saturday morning film practices.

“It’s overwhelming, but it was all worth it. I’m just looking forward to not doing it next year.”

Latasha Sanders, who was a standout basketball player at Marshall High in Pasadena before becoming a cheerleader at Southern University, said she will attend Kishon’s games even though they’re in El Paso, Texas.

But before she knows it, two more of her sons might be bidding for scholarships.

“Right before I start to miss it, I think it will be time for Kishon’s little brothers to start,” she said. “In two years, we’ll be right back at it again.”

For Brian Clements, watching his son Cody develop into a quarterback good enough to sign with Washington State was a dream come true.

Quarterback Cody Clements, who led La Habra to back-to-back CIF championships in his two seasons under center, is heading to Pullman, Wash., after not knowing if he’d even be the starter at La Habra going into his junior season.

“It’s exciting,” said Cody’s father Brian Clements, who played at wide receiver at

St. Paul when he was in high school. “It’s something Cody’s been wanting to do since he was a little kid and to see it actually come true is pretty exciting.”

Brian Clements got first-hand involvement in Cody’s development by being an assistant coach on his Pop Warner teams. But once in high school, he got to sit back and watch his son play his way into a scholarship.

But just because Cody took dad off the hook in terms of paying for college, that doesn’t mean his attending Washington State won’t be expensive for the family.

“Like a lot of parents realize when their kids go away to school, the money you may save as far as the schooling and stuff, you’re going to spend a lot of it on traveling back and forth and getting your kid back and forth,” Brian Clements said. “But it will all be worth it.”

Stressing the importance of grades and test scores was the common theme among this year’s crop of parents whose sons were fortunate enough to reach the next level so many of their peers will miss.

Each year, signing day is filled with stories of athletes who were more than good enough on the field to earn a scholarship but didn’t have what it takes in the classroom.

“With the new NCAA rules and the colleges having to keep up their APR ratings (Academic Progress Rates), I don’t think it’s caught on with a lot of athletes,” Theresa Price said. “I don’t think they realize that they have to take core classes in high school because even though you might be able to get a scholarship to a college, you still also have to be able to get into that school.

“I just hope parents understand that. Don’t be an athlete student, be a student athlete. Grades are most important. Sports are temporary.”