Gladstone High School announced on Wednesday that it has hired Gerald “Citos” Marinez to be its next varsity football head coach.
Marinez, 32, was previously an assistant coach at Redlands East Valley and also had stints at Baldwin Park, La Puente and Rowland, from which he graduated in 1999.
“I’m really excited,” Marinez said. “I’ve prepared my whole career for this point. I’m familiar with the area and I wanted to come back to the area.
“Gladstone is a great situation. Coach (Albert) Sanchez did a great job last year and coming off a league championship, this is a perfect place.”
Marinez replaces Sanchez, who resigned following the 2012 season after 14 years at the helm. Sanchez was named the Tribune’s Coach of the Year last season after he guided the Gladiators to a 10-2 record, a share of the Montview League championship and the school’s first playoff win since 1976.
Finding someone who could continue what Sanchez had going was key for Gladstone as was being able to secure the hire with a teaching position. The school is confident it did both.
“We feel he’s right for our community and our kids,” Gladstone athletic director Chuck Shore said. “He has the knowledge to help our program and he’s the right fit.
“We had to be right with this. It was important to follow up the positive things that Albert had done for the program with somebody else who can bring positive things to the program and build the excitement in the community as well.”
Marinez graduated from Rowland in 1999. He stopped playing football while attending Mt. San Antonio College and later Cal-State Fullerton.
This will be Marinez’s first head coach position and he’s already planning ways for Gladstone to stay atop the Montview.
“I’ve done a lot of research,” Marinez said. “I know they’re a league champion and they only lost to Azusa, so it was kind of an unprecedented year for them.
“My first job is to recruit this campus and get out the kids who want to play football and want to contribute. I hear they only have eight kids coming back from the varsity roster last year. I love that challenge, though, of kidding the kids on campus out to play football.”