Division 1: Bishop Amat is here, but can the Lancers stay? Remember, now programs have to earn their keep. Just ask Crespi, which got booted out. Mission Viejo joins the fray, but head coach Bob Johnson is on record as saying his team won’t play against private schools in the playoffs. 18 teams for 16 spots sounds dicey but it’s really not.
Division 2: This is the D-1 rejects pool. Nice try Notre Dame, Norco, Crespi, Oaks Christian, but you weren’t D-1 material. Now, you’re here. And this is one helluva division. La Habra, though? How do the Highlanders go D-1 instead of La Mirada?
Division 3: La Mirada, St. Francis and La Serna (all teams that were in the Southeast Division) last season land here.
Jude Oliva resigned as San Gabriel High School varsity football head coach on Monday after three seasons. He was 17-17 at the school.
Oliva cited health, career and family reasons for his decision to step down. Oliva suffered from gout and kidney issues this season, which caused severe joint pain.
He and his wife just welcomed a newborn daughter. Oliva was not a full-time teacher at San Gabriel and will look for more gainful employment while also not ruling out a return to the sideline.
“I just had a brand new baby girl and that gave me perspective on some things,” Oliva said. “I’m looking for a teaching job and trying to get some things lined up for myself.
“I’m still looking to coach. I don’t have a timetable on it. If the right opportunity presents itself, of course, I would love to get back into coaching football. It’s something I’m not ready to give up and something my family doesn’t want me to give up.”
Oliva, a 1998 graduate of San Gabriel, had his best season in 2011 when he led the Matadors to a 9-5 record, Almont League championship and an appearance in the Mid-Valley Division championship game.
Following the season, Oliva was named Pasadena Star-News Coach of the Year. He was also chosen to coach the West team in last summer’s National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame’s annual all-star game.
“When we were able to beat San Dimas (in last year’s semifinals), for me, that was the pinnacle of what our program was about,” Oliva said. “It was one of those great moments where we got beat up pretty bad the first time we played (San Dimas) and in the second game we were able to overcome a slow start and show what kind of character we had.”
Oliva replaced former longtime Matadors head coach Keith Jones in 2009 after serving as an assistant coach on Jones’ staff for eight years.
San Gabriel was unable to parlay its 2011 success into 2012. The Matadors went 3-7 and were on the bad end of several hard-luck losses. San Gabriel missed the postseason after narrow losses to league foes Schurr and Montebello came back to haunt.