Monrovia High School finally has its man.
Chris Stevens, head coach at Ontario Christian the past six years, was named the Wildcats new varsity football head coach ending a search that lasted a bit longer than most expected for one of the Valley’s premier jobs.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” Stevens said. “It’s just a fantastic opportunity for me and my family to join such a great a community and a great athletic family.
“I was humbled at the fact that they chose me and I’m very excited to continue the winning tradition over there. I told them in the interview that I’m the perfect fit into an already outstanding mold. My job is to go in there and not change anything. My job is to keep everything going in the right direction.
Stevens replaces Ryan Maddox, who resigned earlier this offseason after a wildly successful six-year run that saw the Wildcats win three consecutive CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division championships between 2010-12.
Monrovia was bidding for a fourth-consecutive division championship last season when it was upset by Paraclete in the semifinals. Maddox later left, saying he was trying to further a career in administration.
The length of time needed to fill one of the area’s top jobs came to a surprise to many. Rumors circulated that the school wasn’t wowed by the first wave of applicants and reached out to coaches from around the area who they thought would be good candidates. No word on where Stevens fit into that mix.
Stevens was 52-22 at Ontario Christian, including two league championships. His teams were well known for putting up a lot of points on offense. His offensive prowess should come in handy considering the Wildcats have to replace their leading passer and rusher from last season.
Also hanging over the program is a potential move to a tougher division when the CIF-Southern Section release proposals for playoff groupings later this month.
“I embrace it,” Stevens said of a potential division hike. “For the program itself to have already been established and winning as it has been, it’s inevitable. To be honest, I was surprised it’s taken this long. After Coach Maddox won the first one, I thought Monrovia would be up and outta there.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge. We’re ready to accept that challenge, whatever comes our way.”
Stevens said no decisions have been made about his coaching staff. He expects to meet with Maddox in an attempt to retain as many as members of last year’s staff as possible.