South El Monte offensive coordinator Jerry Urias was fired by the school just before Christmas break. Urias had been with the Eagles for four seasons, including the most successful campaign in school history in 2005. Although, controversial at times, Urias was considered one of the top assistants in the area and a major reason for the Eagles’ recent turnaround. South El Monte reached the semifinals of the CIF-SS Division VII playoffs in 2005 and finished in a three-way tie for the Mission Valley League championship in 2006.
Eagles head coach Erick Escamilla is fearful that Urias’ firing will lead to other assistant coaches leaving in protest. Even Escamilla’s own situation is somewhat up in the air, but the 10th year coach said he will likely return.
Urias was an off-campus coach, who graduated from El Monte and played defensive back collegiately at PCC and Temple. He also played in the CFL with Hamilton. He currently also coaches defensive backs at Compton College.
South El Monte should be one of the better teams in the area next season with several key contributors returning, including wide receiver Tommy Cogburn and quarterback Jose Garay.
WEDNESDAY UPDATE: I spoke with Coach Urias and SEM principal Silvia Montero on Wednesday. Montero wouldn’t comment. Urias did. There will be an article in the Tribune about the firing on Thursday.