OC Register: Servite fires offensive coordinator …

The Orange County Register’s Steve Fryer is reporting that Servite has fired offensive coordinator Matt Mitchell after two games.

Aram’s take: Servite’s offense against Amat amounted to QB keeps and quick passes to receivers who stood at the line of scrimmage and dropped the ball. From what I hear, the Friars were going through a change in philosophy. It’s kinda funny this happened because there were several coaches I spoke to on the phone last week and I told them “I guarantee Chino Hills and Charter Oak aren’t going to be running QB keeps all night when they play Amat.” I might have even told Coach Hagerty the same thing. It was truly one of the most baffling offensive gameplans I’ve ever seen. Playing a team like Chino Hills with a diverse offense did Amat a world of good.

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  • Amat Dad


    That last comment you made about Amat playing a diverse offense such as Chino Hills is 100% accurate. Let’s all remember that these preleague games are about learning and improving in preparation to get better for league. I love the schedule we play this year, as I feel it truly will improve us as a team. Playing La Mirada this tear will be a challenge, as they are proving to be a very good team. By the way, I am still having nightmares about missing that extra point to end the game.

    Go Lancers !

  • New York

    Making this call after a victory makes it seem less emotional or reactionary. Any more history? Was Mitchell the OC in past seasons as well or just this season?

  • Colt74

    MM had been at Servite for the last 4 years. Prior to that he was at Orange Coast College for 6 years.

  • BraveDad

    IMO this change dates back to the early playoff loss, early by Servite’s recent standards anyway, in 2011. The loss in round two in 2011, the loss to BA in week zero of 2012, and the near loss to RC this past Saturday had Thomas shacking in his freekin’ boots (or shall I say his kilt!). Not sure if this is going to create the results Thomas is looking for but (and with all due respect to Servite) I’d say you have a problem when your QB is your leading rusher; unless of course his last name is Stanton and he wears an eagle on his helmet!

  • Doubting Thomas

    Troy Thomas wasn’t about to take the heat for a shaky start this year, so he offered-up Matt Mitchell as a sacrificial lamb. If the Friars proceed to have a great year, it will be proof that the change was needed; if the poor play persists, Thomas can blame the lingering effect of Mitchell’s mismanagement. Troy really knows how to cover his butt at a school where rearend protection is critical.

  • OC legend

    Well the defense hasn’t done anything either. Maybe he should fire himself

  • Don

    The Servite guy was there for at least three years.

    What’s funny is as ugly as we think the Amat or Damien politics may get, it doesn’t reach 25 or 30 miles like Servite ugliness does.

  • See ya

    I would speculate Mitchell’s exit has more to do with an assistant coach disagreeing with a head coach about the direction of the offense. My guess is this was more a case of a mutual parting of the ways rather then a coach being fired for incompetence.

  • From what I’ve read, Thomas wants the offense to run what Santa Margarita does. The OC didn’t agree. Looked to me like he protested with his playcalling vs. Amat.
    I kid you not, I couldn’t believe what I seeing. QB keeps left and right. Just clueless stuff. Something was not right behind the scenes.

  • Ask rancho

    @oc legend . Defense looked great against rancho . Held rancho to no scores in second half aNd had a couple defensive scores in second half .

  • Doubting Thomas

    The truth resides in the fact that Servite’s offensive line isn’t up to snuff this year, hence the overuse of quarterback keepers and other desperate measures. Mitchell understood the environment in which he operated, and wouldn’t “protest” by calling moronic plays.

    The Friars are lucky not to be 0-2 at this point, and Mitchell’s head rolled in a bid to re-energize Servite’s huge fan base.

  • Not Since 1995

    Well…now we know why Servite lost that game at Knifer Field…!

    It was nothing The Lanceritos did…It was what the OC from Servite didn’t do…!

    Rick Newweizel called to say that he beat Tenn to open the season, then lost 7 games that season…!

    What are the Amat Blowhards going to say when Servite ends the season at 4 – 6…?

    Yeah…I know..! Add it to the list of meaningless preseason victories…!

    Not In 2012…

  • Not So Fast My Friend

    Before I post this, just keep in mind, the coaching community, as large as it is, is actually pretty small.

    I was having lunch with an OC coach that I’ve known for years this past summer and we started talking about their season match up against Servite. So now that I’ve said that, here’s what was said BEFORE the season started. I’ve given the info and reliability grade in terms of how accurate (I think) the info may or may not be. Again, this is what I was told.

    Part I. Troy Thomas was, given all of Servite’s success, already catching a lot of heat. Why? Well, when parents are paying x number of dollars in tuition for their “student athlete” to play for Servite, they expect them to play. This lead to problems with having too many players on the team. As a result, this was the first time (according to him) Servite had tryouts and limited the number of players on the team. (reliability A)

    Part II. Thomas wasn’t and hasn’t been necessarily the warm and friendly huggable type of coach. He’s more Nick Saban than Bobby Bowden. That’s rubbed people (and alums) the wrong way in the OC. There was even talk (and I don’t know how reliable this part was) that if they stumbled, it would give Servite reason to look elsewhere for a more “community friendly” type of coach. (reliability B or C)

    Part III. Given Servite was playing with some inexperienced players, Mitchell planned to be a little more conservative with his play calling. Thomas didn’t believe they should be. This issue started in the summer and boiled over now. (reliability C).

    Again, this is what I was told by a tenured OC coach. If true, taken together, it doesn’t paint a picture of a smooth operating machine like seasons past, not operationally, not personally and not athletically. Interesting to see what happens now.

    If anyone has anything more or better, please share.

  • Doubting Thomas

    Are we to believe that Thomas didn’t know about Mitchell’s offensive plans for months, and that Troy was powerless to tell Matt what he wanted?

    This firing is a deflection of blame, which as the rest of the season will show, belongs squarely on the shoulders of Troy Thomas.

  • Joe Amat

    Doubting Thomas,

    “Plans” are one thing during the beauty contest/touch-football season. His “plans” may have been different until the pads came out.

    What did Mike Tyson say? “Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.”

  • Guys,

    Do some deductive reasoning. This firing stems from the Amat loss. Servite simply does not get whipped like that and look as bland as they did without heads rolling and without there being a reason behind it.

    Try to watch the game replay on the FOX website and you’ll see what I mean. It was the worst game plan and play calling I’ve seen in a long time and it came from Servite. When that happens, it’s on purpose. Amat was crashing down and Servite NEVER adjusted. Just kept running QB draws and quick hits. It was pathetic.

    The buck stops with Thomas and that’s why he made the move he made.

  • Joe Amat


    After you watch that, go back and find a copy of last years game. Those same plays are the ones that worked a year ago. Sometimes you stick with something too long. They did.

  • BraveDad


    I’ve been watching OC, PAC5, Trinity games for years and I find it hard to believe that the Servite OC called a poor game against Amat on purpose – that’s simply BS! BA was the better team that night – period. Anyone who knows Trinity League football expected a weaker than usual Servite team in 2012. That said a weaker Servite is still better than 60 – 70% of the programs in the SS.

    Also, you mention that Thomas wants to run a similar offense to SM and then you go on to say that Servites OC was calling QB keepers left and QB keepers left all night and that was his way of undermining Thomas. Well, I’m not sure how many SM games you’ve watched recently, but Stanton, their beast of a QB, runs the ball like 35% of the time and sometimes more and they are all designed plays. From what I know, Servite does not have the QB to run the way Stanton/SMs offense does and you don’t really know Trinity League/PAC5 football. Perhaps you should leave this thread to those of us who do (you now I love you man and cant help myself!)

  • Joe Amat,

    Was Amat defending it the same way? Probably not. Were adjustments made ever? I didn’t see them. It was beyond ridiculous and many coaches I talked to who saw it said the exact same thing. That’s why I said all last week “you can bet that Chino Hills and Charter Oak won’t be running QB dives all night … thus expect them to give Amat a better game than Servite did.”

    Then again, all the coaches I talked to, and this could go to Brave Dad’s point, are local coaches and like me are not familiar with the intricacies of the PAC-5.

  • BraveDad


    Don’t get me wrong. PAC5 offenses can spread it around and throw it with the best of them, but if you are talknig SM and running their style of offense, you are talking a run first offense with many of those runs coming from the QB. Why Servite would want to use that style without the QB SM has is beyond me (but that’s Thomas for you). I think SM desinged the offense around Stanton and no one else has a Stanton. Look for it to change after 2012.

  • Doubting Thomas

    It’s not hard to imagine both Servite and St Paul having losing seasons this year, and if that happens, both schools’ head coaches could be gone. I could see Troy Thomas landing on his feet in Santa Fe Springs, where he would be recieved as a younger version of Marijon Ancich. In this event, Asante would probably get no better than an assistant job elsewhere.

  • Something had to be done

    Aram- You know as well as I do, it goes beyond what you see up front. It’s what goes on behind the scenes, it’s the preparation for a game. The hard work and dedication a coach (s) puts in to prepare his players for a game. Servite has done what it needed to do, will St. Paul?

  • Not So Fast My Friend

    @Doubting Thomas:

    It can certainly happen!

    I talked to my OC coach friend last night about that Servite vs Amat game and according to him, several prominent Servite alums were furious at:

    A: The play calling (which should explain the OC getting canned).

    B: The lack of Preparedness against Amat and Rancho Cucamonga.

    C: The most important one – to not be surprised if Thomas steps down anyway for another potential job.

  • Joe Amat

    You know how coaches are, especially in game #1.

    They want to establish what THEY think they’ll be good at and/or need for the remainder of the season. Sometimes they stick with things, or players, too longhand it might cost them agame or two. Adjustments are key and to not let “confirmation bias” (google it) affect how you coach.

    The other thing, is this is why teams should have a varied and challenging schedule. You want play someone who may expose a weakness now – rather than later.

    At any level, when you see mid-season coaching changes (with assistants or HCs) it happens before the bye week – so the timing does not surprise.

    Honestly, I’m sure Troy would like to be 2-0, may have expected to be 2-0…but probably isn’t surprised he’s 1-1.

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