By Pete Marshall, Bulletin Staff Writer
CHINO HILLS – This time, Terry Roche said, he’s really done.
Roche announced his resignation as Chino Hills High School football coach and apparently ended one of the most successful head coaching careers in the area.
Roche, 56, will remain at the school as a work experience teacher, although he plans to retire from teaching in the next few years.
“I’m just getting a little bit older,” Roche said. “And I’m not as passionate as I’d like to be. I figured it’s time. It’s been a great seven years.”
Roche is the only head football coach the school has known since it opened with freshmen only in 2001.
In five varsity seasons at Chino Hills, Roche compiled a 39-15-1 record and took the Huskies to the playoffs four out of five years. The best season at Chino Hills was 2005, when the Huskies went 11-1. Chino Hills failed to make the playoffs in 2007.
Roche’s career record was 223-82-7, including stints at Chino Hills, Diamond Bar, Bellflower St. John Bosco, Ontario and Chowchilla high schools.
At Diamond Bar, Roche won four CIF-Southern Section titles, in 1984, ’95, ’98 and ’99, three of which were perfect 14-0 seasons. His Diamond Bar teams had a 27-game win streak in 1984-85 and a 26-game win streak in 1999-2000.
He stepped down after Diamond Bar lost in the 2000 CIF-SS semifinals to eventual champion Upland.
“That time, I left the door open (for a return),” Roche said. “It’s not open any more.”
Roche initially was only helping Chino Hills with the search for a new coach, but then became a candidate.
The only door Roche said will remain open is that of an assistant coach, if the new coach wants Roche to help.
“Coach Roche has built a solid program and never had a losing season here at Chino Hills High School,” Chino Hills principal Carl Hampton said in a statement. “We are grateful to him for all that he has brought to the program and our students. We look forward to having him continue to serve on our staff.”
Roche would like to have input on the hiring of a new coach and said he expected one or more of his assistants to apply.
“I’d hope I’d have a little bit of input,” he said. “You never know. I just want to spend more time with my grandchildren.”
He said there are no serious health issues, but Roche did admit the heat during August and September practices got to him.
“I had to get out of the heat a couple of times and I had a hard time breathing,” Roche said.
He said he initially told Chino Hills he would give the school five years. The thought of stepping down entered his mind early this season.
Roche also sees the sport changing, with teams opting for a spread offense.
“If I was 10 or 15 years younger, I’d be more willing to (change offenses),” Roche said. “I think four or five years down the road, that’s what people are going to.”
But Roche said he knows it would be hard to quit cold turkey.
“I wouldn’t want to do it full-time, but I’d like to help out at game time or part-time,” Roche said. “These are wonderful kids.”