South Hills High School promoted offensive coordinator Albert “Fuzz” Rodriguez to varsity football head coach on Tuesday.
Rodriguez replaces Steve Bogan, who resigned after a 19-year stint that saw the program win four CIF championships. Rodriguez was brought on the South Hills staff by Bogan in 2006 and has been offensive coordinator since ’07.
“I’m a South Hills guy,” said Rodriguez, who graduated from South Hills in 1996. “I grew up in this area. I’m a Covina Viking, West Covina Bruin, went to Barranca and Sierra Vista, then I went to South Hills. So, it’s awesome. I can’t believe it. You have to pinch me right now, I’m excited.”
Rodriguez takes over a program that has fallen on hard times after going 3-7 in each of the past two seasons and missing the playoffs. Part of that can be attributed from the bump in league and playoff division South Hills got before the 2010 season. The Huskies have also been on the short end of the transfer pendulum, both losing players and not getting new ones to be eligible right away.
On top of that, Rodriguez follows in the footsteps of a legend in Bogan, who won 172 games and 13 league championships during his tenure.
“I have no problem with the league,” Rodriguez said of the Sierra League, in which South Hills plays. “If you take a look back at the past two years, we’re there in games, but we just have to finish. I think through hard work, we’re going to be there and put ourselves in position to win football games.
“What coach Bogan has done at South Hills is just awesome. There’s no replacing the guy. The No. 1 rule in coaching is you never want to replace a legend, but shoot, someone has to do it.”
Rodriguez is working on putting together a coaching staff with finding a defensive coordinator his top priority. Rodriguez will continue to call the plays on offense.
Aram’s take: Coach Rodriguez is very well respected by everyone I’ve talked to. He has a very difficult assignment ahead of him with the Huskies talent level having dropped since the glory years and the bump in competition that comes with playing in the Sierra League, where if you’re lucky enough to qualify the postseason is spent in the Inland Division.
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