I get all call this morning from one of Duarte’s biggest boosters, telling me that Lavelle “Tip” Sanders is interested in taking over at Duarte. My first thought is he would work and do wonders, if Duarte is willing to take on a walk-on coach, because Sanders doesn’t have a credential, he’s a security guard who happens to be one of the best coaches in the Valley. There’s no arguing that. When I was working at the Star-News, I watched him take a nothing team at Marshall and turn them into league champs and a CIF semifinal appearance. Everyone watched him take lowly Blair to the Rio Hondo League title and quarterfinal appearance in just his second season at the school in 2007, earning Star-News coach of the year honors. Tip is a no-nonsense coach that demands respect, and if he doesn’t get it, you won’t play for him, period. He didn’t coach anywhere this past season, and speaking honestly like he always does, he said his first preference is Pasadena. He’s been an assistant there off and on for many years, and that’s his dream job. But he also like’s the thought of Duarte. Here’s a little Q & A from our conversation. To read it, click thread
Are you interested in Duarte? I’m waiting on (P)HS, but I’ve been getting the run around. They have my application I’m just waiting to get interviewed. I did my eight years (assistant) there and that’s a job I’ve always dreamed of having. But it’s getting late in the day now, If I don’t hear something in the next week or so, I’ll start looking around. And yeah, Duarte is something I would look at, but (P)HS is my first choice.
How have you been able to win at places that couldn’t win before you arrived? Discipline. I know it ain’t for everyone, but that’s the only way I know how to do it. I almost helped coach Muir last season and I was telling (coach) Ken (Howard) that he needs to get rid of all the dead weight and keep the 30 or 40 guys that are willing to work. He saw it different, his philosophy is to keep everyone around, because you’re keeping kids off the street. I get that, I respect that. But I have a different way. In my first year at Blair, we wound up with only 17 kids, but those kids worked their butt off and I never had a problem. The next year everyone was on the same page, we got a few more to come out and won a league title. I’ll take 25 kids that work hard everyday over 40 or 50 with a bunch of distractions. That’s how I’ve done it and will always do it. With discipline you get chemistry, and I don’t care if you have only 20 guys, as long as those 20 are all on the page.”
If Pasadena fell through, what would keep you from looking at Duarte: I would just have to look into it more. I know Jordan Canada (Falcons RB) since he was in pop warner, but I also have a lot of respect for coach (Wardell) Crutchfield. His players liked him, so I have to find out what happened there. If I wanted to go into a situation where I was fighting inner-city schools, I would apply at Muir. But I’d love to talk to their (Duarte) principal and see what they’re thinking. They’ve always had a lot of talent, so we’ll see.