Mountain View coach James Wilson resigns … the story is a pretty good read …

Mountain View High School football coach James Wilson resigned earlier this week after seven seasons at the school.

Wilson, who played defensive line on Azusa Pacific University’s 1998 NAIA championship team, was 20-47 in seven seasons.

“It just kind of felt right,” Wilson said. “It’s been seven years. I was struggling with it when the season ended. It just kind of became a strain. I moved to Anaheim two years ago and with the drive and my kids getting older, it just felt like the right time.”

Mountain View has long been one of the Valley’s under-performing programs, but under the energetic Wilson the Vikings had started to show signs of competitiveness. In 2010, Wilson installed the Wing-T offense and Mountain View went 5-5. The Vikings took a step back this year, going 3-7, but much of that could be attributed to youth.

Mountain View’s numbers in terms of player turnout had also seen a steady rise under Wilson. The Vikings reportedly have 91 players in the program across all levels.

“I’m proud of where the program’s at and where I’m leaving it,” Wilson said. “Leaving the kids, that was the hardest part. Especially with the team we have coming back next year. We have a lot of kids returning. I just think it’s time for someone else to take the baton and lead the Vikings into the future.

“Some of the kids were real upset and some of them understood. Kids are kids, and I can understand why some of them were upset. It’s hard for them to wrap their heads around the fact that coaches have a personal life. But I understand that.

After Wilson graduated from APU in 2000, he joined former Mountain View coach Frank Alonzo’s staff as an assistant. After three seasons, he was named head coach. But back then, just fielding a team, numbers-wise, at Mountain View was a difficult task.

In addition to low player turnout in his early years, Wilson had to basically start from scratch with what players did show up because for many of them high school was their first try at football.

“I tell people all the time that being the head coach at Mountain View High School was probably one of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever been a part of,” Wilson said. “I’ve been a part of football my whole life. I grew up in a small town (Kingsburg, Ca.) where it’s all about football. I played as a little kid, I played in high school, junior college and at Azusa Pacific. And then you come to a school like Mountain View where, to be honest, football wasn’t even respected. Football players were looked down upon when I took over the job.

“What I’m really proud of is that I feel like there was a culture change. Football players are respected now. When I took over the program, I believe we had 19 guys on varsity. I don’t think we even fielded a junior varsity team. The main thing I’m proud of is where we started and where we’re at now. Granted, the record isn’t where I wanted it to be. We wanted to win every game.”

Wilson will remain a physical education teacher at the school and has not ruled out a return to coaching in the future. The school will fly the position.

Aram’s take: If you look at the progress Mountain View made under Wilson, it’s hard not to be impressed. He did a great job of improving the program’s numbers and simplifying the game for a bunch of kids hadn’t played it before. Sure, the Vikes struggled for wins in most years, but coaching sometimes runs deeper than that. Wilson did a great job and was always enthusiastic about a program that not many people would get excited about.

Follow me on Twitter @ChemicalAT

  • Anonymous

    Koffler to Mt. View!

  • anonymous

    Great story .I think this Gentleman touched the lifes of more kids that we will ever know.

  • x

    Good work. U showed what the numbers don’t. Unlike the midvalleynews.

  • Anonymous

    KoffView

  • wordsmakeadifference!

    Aram,
    Although you do fantastic work for sgv trib and our community. I believe you may have commited a phopah (check spelling)in stating that Coach Thomas ‘Quit’ in your article concerning Thomas. You did not use that word in any other of your articles concerning the resignations of other coaches in the valley. Im just sayin you might want to be a little bit more careful, some may think some wrong doing here given the nature of the situation. I know you like and respect Coach Thomas, at least it seems to be the way you have written about him and having him on your shows. Not one of the other resignation strories had the word Quit in them. Coach Thomas just happens to be the only african american coach in this group and he gets the quit tag. Hmmm! Not cool.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvfootball Aram

    I never wrote that Thomas quit. Read the body of my story because that’s all I control. Our desk used the word “quit” in the headline THEY gave the story.

    Once again, Fred and I have ZERO CONTROL over what headlines are given to stories for the print edition of the Tribune. Nor do we control the pictures that are taken or used.

    On our blogs, we control everything and on our blogs you never saw the word “quit” used.

    I agree with you, I don’t think “quit” was the right word.

    What any of it has to do with Thomas being African American is merely a conclusion you are making,

  • AZTEC PRIDE

    Thank’s for clearing that up ARAM!

  • wow!

    Hey Aram I heard that south hills gave the job to the baseball coach! What is his football resume?

  • AZTEC PRIDE

    By the way wordsmakeadifference, if you think ARAM might not be empathetic to his article. Try reading the sports column from Jason Whitlock, from Fox Sports. He’s running a story on why the coach of RAIDERS, Hue-Jackson ALLEGEDLY got fired. It’s right up you’re alley!

    Now JASON WHITLOCK, don’t give a Hell what he says on his BLOG! NOW THAT’S HARDCORE SPORTS WRITING!

    Not this soft stuff…