The long wait for the Los Altos High School football team to get its new head coach appears almost over.
Conquerors athletic director Andrew Formano said Tuesday that the school has its man, but is just waiting for him to get cleared through human resources. The announcement could come any day.
“We’re waiting on his finger prints to clear, which should be any day now, and once that happens, we’ll announce to the kids and parents and be ready to move forward,” Formano said. “We’ve got our guy and we’re just waiting for clearance.”
Formano said the new head coach likely won’t be an on-campus coach, but does have head coach experience. Los Altos had roughly 25 applicants looking to take over for Dale Ziola, who resigned in December after a wildly successful run that saw him take one of the Valley’s most-storied football programs off life support and make it viable again.
Los Altos reached two CIF championship games under Ziola, including last year’s CIF Southern Section Division 6 final. The Conquerors lost to Paraclete, but finished the season at 13-1.
The Conquerors are just about of time in the traditional sense. Spring practice is set to begin in May and summers are now full of workouts and passing competitions. Not having a head coach much longer could put Los Altos behind the ball.
One reason the process may have taken so long is that the school underwent a changing of the guard at principal during the school year, with Cheli McReynolds leaving and former assistant Jeff Hess taking over.
“That slowed the process a little bit, because attention was kind of diverted to other things on campus,” Formano said. “We would have like to have gotten this done earlier, but circumstance were what they were.”
The goal wasn’t to win. It wasn’t even to keep score. What Arroyo High School football coach Jim Singiser wanted his team to get out of last Saturday’s first passing game of the offseason was for his team to turn the page.
Singiser is concerned his players are still in celebration mode after winning the CIF Southern Section Division 12 championship last season. And now is the time for Arroyo to put that accomplishment in the past and work on new ones.
“How do I think it went?” Singiser said repeating the question asked of him. “I don’t think we’re ready for the playoffs. How did it go? Nobody got hurt and we got to run around for a little bit. I think we needed it probably more this year than before.
“We needed somebody to slap us around a little bit. The CIF championship was five months ago now and nobody cares.”
The Knights played L.A. Jordan. No score was kept. They will meet again this Saturday. The following Saturday, Arroyo will participate in a four-way game with Bell Gardens, South El Monte and L.A. Jordan. Then, the tournament circuit begins with the early headliner being the Charter Oak Tournament in mid-May.
“We needed a jolt of reality that you’re going to run routes and get re-routed, you’re going to throw the ball into coverage and nobody cares what you did in December,” Singiser said. “You can preach it all you want, but until you actually get out on the field and have guys competing, you don’t know anything.
“I think we accomplished that goal. My goal wasn’t to outscore L.A. Jordan. It really wasn’t football related. My goal was it’s time to move on.”
Arroyo has a loaded team returning from last year’s championship team, led by quarterback Ernesto Camacho and running back Steven Ocariz. Having Camacho back should make the Knights quite a difficult proposition in passing tournaments. The question will be whether Arroyo can replace two of Camacho’s top three targets from last season.
Another of the area’s top football coaching jobs is open. Marc Paramo announced Tuesday that he has resigned as Rosemead High School football coach after seasons.
Paramo took over for former coach Matt Koffler in 2012 and won a Mission Valley League championship in 2014. The Panthers made the playoffs in three of Paramo’s five seasons and were 26-28 during that time. Prior to that, Paramo was a top assistant under Koffler.
“I’m 40 years old and I don’t want to do it by myself anymore,” Paramo said. “I’ve been coaching for 21 years, 17 of it at Rosemead and the last five as head coach. I just want some professional life, too. I started my administrative credential in 2008 and we went on our playoff run that year, so I stopped.
“I’m already seven weeks into my course at APU, so I went back.”
Paramo said he’s considering coaching elsewhere as an assistant this season, but also may take a year off to get recharged.
“Honestly, I wouldn’t mind coaching under someone else and learning,” Paramo said. “I wouldn’t mind being a position coach somewhere and just getting to learn how someone else does it and how they work with parents and staff members. I just don’t want to deal with the head coaching headache.”
Rosemead now joins Los Altos and South Pasadena in looking for a new head coach. Earlier this offseason, West Covina and La Mirada also had coaching vacancies to fill.
La Mirada High School promoted assistant coach Joaquin Aguilar to varsity football head coach on Tuesday morning.
The announcement ended a long process in which the school twice flew the position before ultimately settling on Aguilar, who spent the last four years as the team’s secondary and special teams coach under previous head coach Mike Moschetti.
Aguilar inherits a program that’s become something of a shooting star. Two years ago, the Matadores won CIF Southern Section and State bowl championships. Last season, La Mirada reached the the Division 3 Southern Section championship game before falling to Edison.
“I am very excited about this opportunity to lead the Matadores,” Aguilar said in a statement put out by the school. “Most of the staff is returning so the transition should be relatively easy. We will continue to run our version of the West Coast offense and our attacking defense. While we had several key players graduate our returners were either starters or had extensive playing time.
“We will continue to schedule high level teams for our non-league schedule which for the 2017 season includes Orange Lutheran, Upland, Mater Dei and Capistrano Valley.”
Moschetti stunned local fans when he resigned shortly after the season. The former head coach won two CIF championships and had built the program into a Southland power that never often took on big-name opponents in the nonleague.
In addition to marquee games, championship and what’s become total domination of the Suburban League, La Mirada has become a hotbed of college football prospects, often sending out large recruiting classes to the next level.
Aguilar has head coach experience, having been in charge at Pius X and Glenn earlier in his career. He attended Salesian High and will be a walk-on coach.