Wilson to hire Bob Burt as its next head coach, Merrill may join staff …

Wilson is expected to name Bob Burt, who according to a Riverside Press-Enterprise article last December is 69-years old and coached at Notre Dame of Riverside last season, its next head coach, sources said Tuesday.

I have two phone calls in to HLPUSD Asst. Superintendent Rob Roberts to confirm this and have not heard back (usually means there’s something to it).

Anyway, Burt would replace Brian Zavala, who resigned this offseason after just two seasons at the school.

There’s a possibility that former Wilson coach Dave Merrill, who is currently retired, is interested in joining Burt’s staff one source said. Burt is also retired and would be a walk-on coach, according to one source.

Aram’s take: Burt is reportedly well respected and a good coach, from what I hear. But what the heck is Wilson doing A. hiring a walk-on and B. hiring somebody who probably won’t be in for the long haul? I’m really starting to wonder about this entire district. Hiring/firing/resigning and two formerly good programs now floundering. I know for a fact that several well-qualified young coaches applied for the gig and many of them NEVER GOT A CALL.

  • So much for PE cred requirement

    Hope it goes well.

    But at least this probably opens up Jason Rochberg (Wilson head BBall coach)to be on campus fulltime instead of commuting from L puente where he is presently teaching PE.

    Wilson Bball results this year: frosh league champs 20-4; JV – league champs 24-3; varsity went to CIF 2nd round at least he deserves it if true

  • PT

    Don’t hold your breath on Jason Rochberg getting that PE spot. They are planning on hiring an assistant football coach/PE teacher (out of state?). I am assuming that this will be the projected coach to replace Burt when he steps down.

    Those young staffs that Aram wrote about, I agree are quality staffs. But after Hoyd and Zavala I think Wilson is just a little bite gun shy on the young staffs. This could turn out to be a great move, bring in one of those young staffs or that assistant coach, to be mentored by Bert and when Bert steps down your replacement is ready to go.

    I think this is a good move, not great I would have loved to have seen one of those young staffs. I do understand why they took this direction, this is the safe hire.

    One thing is for sure it is a much better hire than Ziola over at Los Altos.

  • david rivera

    its about time wilson hired a respected coach. a man much older who will get RESPECT from his players and not yell back at him. but i do hope he knows what hes getting into here. he better be able to recruit asian kids because if he doesnt he done

  • david rivera

    come on you dont need a basketball coach as the pe teacher. you must and i mean must hire a assistant football coach to recruit kids on campus for football

  • X’s and O’s

    Nice hire, I will never knock a coach on this blog (unless they lie and cheat for their own benefit, but that’s a different Heights coaching staff) because they do so much for young men, and Burt is definitely quality. However, what will he do with his staff? It would be great for him to get someone in who coaches p.e. I know this sounds biased, but I’d much rather see a football assistant get a teaching job over a basketball coach. It’s just my opinion that a quality football coach does so much more for the campus than most others… Does he have quality walk on/volunteer assistants? Does he have some young coaches to fire the players up?

    The truth is that the players don’t care about a coach’s resume or how many wins he has accrued over his career, but they do want someone who will show passion for them and work hard. It’s great that he has Merril because Merril does care about the well-being of Wilson football. Good luck Wilson Wildcats. I wish nothing but the best.

  • Concerned

    You’re right to question this district. It seems that they hire unqualified ADs and it is reflecting.Most of these guys think it’s all about them, and the programs go right in the crapper! Look at La Puente, alot of baseball talent every year and the don’t play in any tournaments. What a shame for those kids!

  • Twilight Zone

    Why does a guy who has coached for 44 years want the upside down Wilson job? Do they like him because he will work for free? A guy like this will probably just start off with the title of head coach then hand it off to someone else before the season starts. Who do they think their fooling over there. Its like Joe Paterno leaving Penn St. to coach Univ. of La Verne.

  • BeachRat

    It’s to bad this coach probably won’t see next years freshman graduate before he retires. Short term fix that makes no long term sense. He has no assistants in the area as he still lives in Lake Elsinor. Good Job Wilson parents, hope you got what you asked for. Don’t count on seeing Merrill coach either. He wouldn’t endorse a short term fix. He cares about the long run! See you in three years when it’s time to hire another guy.

  • http://blogs.pe.com/inlandsoutherncalifornia/2010/12/football-bob-burt-steps-down-a.html Interested Observer

    Here is a link of a story from HIGH SCHOOL GAME TIME about Mr. Burts resignation from Notre Dame High School of Riverside this past December.


    Looks like my COACH B Type was hired.
    1. Academics is his first priority.
    2. Models and instills the values of Ethics,
    Morality and Hard Work.
    3. Creates a Family Environment.
    4. Teaches the Fundamentals of Football,
    not Madden Football.
    5. Winning may be a by-product of the above.

  • PT


    Interesting comments BeachRat, “don’t count on Merrill coaching either”. First off this is Merrill’s guy, second Merrill wants to get back into coaching. Short term fix not long term, why not? Short term he grooms his replacement. To be honest with you that is the major problem with must of the young coaches in the area, they have been groomed by jacka@@’s. Look at Hoyd, Zavala, Ziola, Felipe, Arellanes what happen to all those young coaches. Notice Felipe is the only smart one of the bunch, he moved on and is coaching under some of the quality coaches in the area to get better. The majority of these other guys move on to coach with their friday night drinking buddies.

  • Hobo

    Merrill couldn’t coach himself out of a shoebox and everyone knows it.

  • david rivera

    well its going to take a coach like burt with experience and knowledge and most of all RESPECT to take on this wilson schools demographics. you must and i mean must recruit from out of the area.if you dont you are done

  • saladays


    Good thing we don’t play football in shoe boxes.

  • Wilson Parent


    Merrill isn’t the.greatest coach but he is a huge upgrade from Zavala and he is an assistant not the head coach. At least Merrill is man enough to admit hiring Zavala was a big mistake. Do you guys realize this is the first real coaching staff these kids have seen (Hoyd & Zavala).

    On a side note wasn’t there comments from a Covina blogger that Merrill wasn’t going to coach at Wilson.

  • PT

    I am assuming it is offical, they introduced him to the players at practice today. They are having a football fundraiser at Round Table tonight at 6:30 p.m., a “Meet the Coach” fundraiser.

    Aram, those young talented staffs you were talking about I think you were being nice when you stated “many of them NEVER GOT A CALL”. I don’t think a single one of them got a call. From what I am hearing Ms. Paul was only going to interview coaches with proven varsity experience.

  • LA alumni

    well first off i think this is not a half bad hire by Wilson, and im a Los altos fan. Looks like they did their homework and came up with a winning hand. lets look at the tale of the tape…

    Cats Conqs
    69 years experience 5-6 years experience
    proven Varsity HC Varsity RB coach
    Respected by peers Said to be a “tool”
    Loved by his players Players want out
    (see article shared below) (Transfers?)
    Loyalty, respect, Honest Backstabber, dishonest

    what baffles me is that wilson looks to have actually did some work here and went looking for a man to lead them out of their current crisis and he seems to be excellent in exactly the issues that seem to be plaguing wilson right now, and i mean exactly, and then you have my dear ole’ alma mater and they seemed to think that they could sit back and soemone would just beat down their door to take this job simply because they are los altos, its almost like the people over at LA thought they were entitled to a top notch head coach and sat back and waited till he just “rand the door bell” and he never did, and we got this kid Ziola…this is very disturbing

  • david rivera

    dave merill isnt going to coach at wilson. its official and this comes from the coach

  • Edgewood

    Coach Burt used to recruit the San Gabriel Valley heavily during the mid-80’s. Stan Bowers Line Backer, Edgewood 85′ (Maggiore’s good friend and teammate) played for Coach Burt at Cal State Fullerton….

    Drop Mike a line, he’ll give you the skinny….

  • david rivera

    wilson lands big time coach,now needs the black athlete to return in order for sucesss.

  • Mr Rhino

    To Wilson school administration
    Where is the official announcement? Of the new coach why is it that I have to find out about the new coach from my son shouldnt the parents been notified first.
    When Wilson announced the resignation/firing of coach Zavala, we all received a phone call to attend a meeting.
    Yet as of today, no one from the school has called us to inform us of this new coach whom we as parents are supposed to entrust with our kids
    I am not knocking the new coach I wish him the best of luck, just flabbergasted at the way the school administration continues to distance themselves from the parents

  • PT

    Coach Burt is working on filling the PE position with one of his coaches from Riverside. He is also working on bring over other coaches from his old staff. Clearly this is a great hire for Wilson.

    This team doesn’t have the talent it had last year but I am telling you right now they will do much better than last years team.

  • WP

    Mr Rhino

    Get over yourself. It’s none of your business who the Wilson admin hires, or fires in any of it’s departments.


    Mr. Rhino,
    Do really blame the Wilson admin. from distancing themselves from you Wilson parents. Just look at all crap they spew on these blogs . I would keep my distance from you people also.

  • david rivera

    huge hire for the football program, maybe the best hire of the year so far in san gabriel valley. just hope he can lure some asians in at wilson to play football

  • Turning Blue

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for the new coach to draw the asian flock to the gridiron. Hell, He’s old enough to have fought in the Korean War.

  • PT

    You people need to understand the Wilson parents side of this. Over the last three years they had Hoyd and Zavala as head coaches that in its self should be self-explanatory. Many of you say the parents chased them away, if so great job Wilson parents. Coach O ran this program for many years and never had an issue with the Wilson parent.

    I think the exact opposite is going to take place, these parents are going to welcome him with open arms and be so thankful for finally getting a real head coach. I also think the administration did a great job with this hire, and I mean a GREAT JOB. Looks like Coach Bert is putting together one of the best coaching staffs in the SGV. Think about it Wilson is going from one of the Valleys worse staffs to one of the best.

    The only down side to this is the returning talent level, to bad this didnt happen last year when the team had much more talent. This years team has some major issues at some major positions and coaching cant fix all of them, but it sure can help.

  • HH


    So give us a little spring breakdown on the Wilson strengths, and weaknesses, as you see it.

  • What?

    Wow, Coach Burt was the Head Coach at my school Pater Noster when I played Frosh/JV. Now 45 years later he’ll be coaching against my Vikings.

  • just curious

    So is this a done deal or not. Has it been confirmed? My sources tell me it is not a done deal. Can anyone in authority confirm this hire and did anyone go to the meet the coach fundraiser and what was said there?


    I’ve heard that line on a coach putting together one of the best coaching staffs in the SGV before. They all said the same thing about Gano when he took over the Damien program. Where is that staff now and how much better is Damien. Before you bestow the greatest title on Burt’s staff let’s see what kind of results they produce.

  • Alex Trebek

    “I know for a fact that several well-qualified young coaches applied for the gig and many of them NEVER GOT A CALL.”

    Your Job is not to wonder or worry about the the ones who never get the call so stop whining. YOUR JOB is to report on the ones that do get the call….

  • PT

    The biggest weakness is at the running back position; no one even close to Moe Vega, the second and third string was also seniors. Really have no running back in the program.

    The qb position is another major issue, Coach Berk runs a pro set offense and Morales is a spread style qb clearly not a pro set. There are rumors of another kid competing for the qb position. He has the arm for Berk’s offensive but not sure about the commitment.

    All three linebackers were seniors and we only have one quality one returning. Coach Berk talked about some of the young talent that quit last year returning. That could shore up the linebacker issue.

    Now don’t get me wrong I feel this team will clearly do better next season even with these issues.

  • david rivera

    easily the best coach in the la puente hacienda heights district. now comes the hard part at getting kids to come and play at wilson

  • The Facts

    Coach Bert, Your job is simple start with the basics tackling and blocking. The last three years these kids have been coached by group of useless coaches. You need clean the cancer Hoyd & Zavala created. I would not let a single coach from the leagacy coaches near these kids. Good Luck and be Tuff these kids need it they are soft.

  • Aaron

    Coach Burt is the kind of man and coach that all would want if there was a vacancy at the school they supported. It’s state quite clear that he’s retired as a teacher in the classroom and that he is still coaching.

    If there is anything fishy at all is that he retired at Notre Dame(Riverside) in December…what got him to come and be a walk-on coach at a public school. And with that I am sure he left that program in the hands of a capable successor and just changed his mind…instead of golfing he likes coaching: good enough of an explanation for me.

    Let him teach and let him coach!

  • Coach Slayer

    Lets see. Wilson and L.A. got rid of three Hispanic and one Black H.C. in two years. Now both schools replaced them with white coaches. If both coaches struggle winning games this year I will bet they both get passes with a “give em a chance” thrown in. I do think that Hispanic and Black H.C.’s have to produce immediatly in order to satisfy the masses even in predominantly minority schools and I am not sure why. It seems easier to fire Mexican and Black coaches than White and that the public will tolerate a White hire much easier even when Latino kids are in the majority. No matter what happens if Wilson or L.A. goes 2-8 or worse I don’t think you will hear any bloggers asking for coach Pedro to take over the floundering program. My observation I know maybe a gross generalization but it sure feels that way to me as far as the S.G.V. is concerned.

  • david rivera

    hey coach slayer, you sound like a rascist. why dont they hire a asian coach so they can get the asians to play football at these schools. but instead you blame the white man for beiong rascist. i am not a rascist but the facts are the facts the asians dont play football at least most of them. so why didnt they hire a asian coach.

  • X’s and O’s

    Hey david rivera, if your biggest gripe is that Asians don’t play football, then you completely lack logic. What would make you think that there is a plethora of qualified Asian coaches that want the job? I know several of the staffs in the SGV and I could think of one Asian assistant coach at Walnut High School. Can we please stop bringing race into the equation. Schurr High School has been very successful the past ten years and there are lots of Asians and Hispanics at that school… I don’t know of too many whites and blacks they have playing for their school.

    A good player is a good player regardless of skin color just as a good coach is a good coach.

  • Coach Slayer

    Rivera. Please refrain yourself from commenting on my posts with your adolecent intellect. Your brain cells are so few that you should save them for your”Look at me, I’m an idiot” posts like your preceding one. You prove the old saw true that says, “Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” In your thousands of posts you have made not one salient observation. You are absolute proof that our education system has failed you. I wait with baited breath for your idiotic retort.

  • The Truth

    Hey Coach Slayer, It has nothing to do with being black or hispanic. Zavala & Hoyd are horrible coaches we could be on mars and both these coaches would be horrible. They had no business being HCs. This is a good example for all you want be HCs to make sure you put in time off the field so that you do not look like fools on field.

  • Mark Verti

    Hey Coach Slayer – what about me?

    yes – it was a GROSS generalization!

  • Coach Slayer

    The Truth aka david rivera. I knew you just could’nt help yourself and had to reply under another screen name. You are
    just to simple. Look my nutty little amigo, you obviously can not make heads or tails of my post or intent. Your tunnel vision allows you to process only so much information in a very limited scope. By the way give up on using different screen names to try and hide. You are as easy to identify as Bozo the clown. And to Mr. Verti. What about you? You lost me. Are you a fired coach that resents my over reach?

  • Mark Verti

    Coach Slayer – obviously you’ve been living under a rock. Google it

  • Coach Slayer

    Mark, Sorry, I just crawled out from under my rock 3 years ago in relation to sgv high school ball. Obviously you are a big exception to my generalization and I really hope my assesment is wrong. I gather from your cryptic post you feel you were not given enough time to produce the team you wanted. If that is true then perhaps we can agree that high school coaches need to be given time for their programs to take full effect. Would be curious to know your opinions of the situations at L.A. and Wilson and the state of High School head coaching in the SGV.

  • PT

    Coach Slayer you are STUPID that is not Mark Verti.

    I am more than willing to give my opinion of Wilson and Los Altos;

    At Los Altos Gano saw no talent didn’t want to lose his reputation of a winner and stepped down “to coach his daughter” (that lasted one year) and passed the job to Felipe, not ready, not even close but Gano realized that. Gano is and always will be about Gano. Just like at Damien where he just about fired his whole staff in an attempt to save his a@@ from those boosters that want him out. With what Felipe had he did a great job. After two years, the program didn’t show any signs of improvement so they showed Felipe the door. Then they brought in Arellanes, it was a despite move, embarrassed by the lack of applicants for the position. Arellanes was on a very short leash, and had the administration snitches watching his every move. After a 0-10 season with no administration or coaching support he stopped to take a deep breath and the back stabbers took their shot. Ziola and Burke got Arellanes fired. After an in-depth hiring process which included advertising, applying, and in-depth interviews the administration hired Ziola, O did I mention this process took two weeks. Amazing since it took Wilson over a week just to get district approval on their new hire. Basically a real screwed up program that is only going to get worse with time.

    The Wilson program, Coach O quits end of the 07′ season. Clegg hires whom at Wilson they call the Mendoza line of football, the new standard of the worse head coach possible in high school football, “HOYD”. He only last’s one year, lucky he lasted that long. Then Merrill hires Zavala for the 09′ season. At the time didn’t seem to be that bad of a hire. Turned out to be one of the worse high school coaches I seen since Hoyd (haha). A matter of fact a few parents started calling him Hoyd by the end of the 10′ season. This guy really had no clue what it took to be a head coach, a matter of fact how did he even get to be a DC. Anyone doubts my comment please check Max Prep numbers don’t lie.

    Now here is where the big difference comes in Ms. Paul and her committee goes out and makes a great hire. Don’t get me wrong I don’t think it was the best one that applied, but still a great hire it was. The open PE teaching position will be filled by the future Head Coach that will be groomed by Coach Bert. His coaching for the love of the game and that is it; he has nothing to prove to anyone.

    My projection Wilson will now pull the majority of the local talent into their program. Clearly of the four programs (Wilson, Los Altos, La Puente, and Workman) Wilson has the edge in all categories; safety, education, talent and now coaching. I havent even begun to address the potentially scholarship issue, which Coach Bert with his many years of coaching experience at the College level gives him a huge advantage over the other local programs.

  • Mark Verti (real or not)

    “Coach” Slayer – you misconstrue what I meant. What I meant, exactly, is that coaches who are not ready – are not ready. Time for our “programs to take full effect” will not help if we are unable to run that program. Players don’t deserve on the job training. It does not matter if we are black, brown, or white. Either we can coach – or we can’t. Those of us that can’t (yet) should be, and are, let go. Sometimes the replacement is good (Hagerty) sometimes it is bad (Zavala, Arrelanes).

  • Coach Slayer

    I believe I got your point Mark or not. Mine is that apparently some coaches are considered ready even if their Won-loss records are mediocre to poor year after year after year.(Pioneer,Whittier,Walnut,Rowland etc.)I think some schools that had highly successful programs might have unrealistic goals and quickly fire coaches while others stick with their guy. I think of the guy that coached Bonita. His name was being mentioned in the blogs as a coach(white) that needed to be fired because of poor won loss record in 2009 and inability to win one playoff game for previous years and look what happened in 2010,almost coach of the year. Thanks for your take and I will adjust my thinking on the race issue for now.

  • Mark (or not)

    Interesting that you bring up Pioneer and how they’ve been patient with Head Coach, Ramon Juarez. Kind of shoots down your initial premise, no? Definitely time to “adjust” your thinking.

  • ….

    read this lttle update on a local football player!!!!!

  • david rivera

    wilson has made a huge hire, this coach has college connections all over the country. platyers who want scholarships need to enroll at wilson. i know this for a fact

  • Hacienda is in da Heights!

    New Hacienda-la Puente slogan: “We’re doing it backwards, one awful coach at a time!”

  • PT

    Hacienda is in da Heights!,

    That comment shows how clueless you really are. Coach Burt is by far the best hire in the SGV. On top of the great hire Wilson still has an open teaching spot for another on-campus football coach in today’s ecominy to add another on-campus coach is unheard of. I don’t know of any program in the last decade that has made such a huge jump in quality of coach from one year to the next.

    Interesting side note on that subjuct, one of the other great pickup’s was Morriosn over at Workman last year. Both of these bottom dwelling staffs that Morrison and Burt replaced had one common thread, Williams was the offensive coordinator. I hope the next staff that decides to give Williams a shot better be real careful, Williams doesn’t have a very good track record.

  • Mark Verti (or not)

    PT – Last decade? You’ve been under the same rock as Coach Slayer.
    But congratulations on the upgrade

  • 0 tolerance

    Don’t think Merrill is going to join the staff, and it’s probably a good thing from what I’ve heard. Months ago he told the kids they weren’t allowed to wear the “Zavala years” black Wilson Logo-ed sportsgear (shorts, Dri-Fits, etc..) during practice. About a month ago, one player, whom Merrill must not have liked to begin with, was in the locker room dressing out for the weightroom, and wearing a black Dri-fit (no Wilson logo). Merrill kicked him off the team.


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