From the moment St. Paul fired coach Pete Gonzalez, who won a CIF championship in 2007, the writing was on the wall. Nobody at St. Paul would talk about it, but it finally happened, they re-hired longtime coach Marion Ancich?
Here is what Roger Murray wrote in today’s Whittier Daily News. Read it, principal Lori Barr finally speaks
By Roger Murray
Marijon Ancich, the former longtime San Pedro longshoreman who dabbled enough in football along the way to become California’s winningest high school football coach, has been named head coach at St. Paul High School. Again.
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It will be Ancich’s third stint as head of the Swordsmen’s nationally known program.
He resigned from the position following the 2005 season after posting a career won-lost record of 344-123-10. His state record for victories was tied this past season by Concord De La Salle’s Bob Ladouceur.
After leaving St. Paul, Ancich continued to coach, serving served as defensive coordinator for two seasons at Cerritos College and last year helped his son, Dusan, who was co-head
coach at Villa Park.
At St. Paul, Ancich replaces the man who replaced him, Pete Gonzalez, a former assistant head coach under Ancich who posted a 22-15 record in three years, including a 5-5 mark in 2008.
St. Paul principal Lori Barr said the plan was to “find not just a great football coach but a person who will represent the school effectively, who understands its traditions, who knows what we were and what we want to become.”
After nearly a month of applications, Barr said she finally realized
“I had someone like that right in front of me.” Ironically, it was someone who had not submitted an application. Even though he was asked to be a part of the development council involved in the search process, Ancich said he had not entertained thoughts of coming back as the Swordsmen’s coach.
“I had absolutely no interest in returning,” Ancich said Monday afternoon.
Athletic director Marc Hernandez, happy with Ancich’s change of
heart, said, “Absolutely. Obviously, I’m glad to have him back. Winningest football coach in the state. We hope he keeps that title here at St. Paul.”
Ancich’s teams in nearly 50 years of coaching at St. Paul (1961-81, 1993-2005) and Tustin (1984-92) have won a national championship, three CIF-Southern Section championships, been to the finals seven times and won 23 league titles.
As important as winning games might be, his objective always has been the same: “To give the young man the opportunity to develop his courage, his loyalty, his poise, the proper weighing of values and the proper control of his emotions in adversity and in
accomplishment.” He said Monday his early priorities now will be to “find out what we
have on the field and what we need.”
Also of great interest is helping increase the school’s development
“financially as well as enrollment.”
“Like all private schools, we want to increase enrollment, not just athletically, but in the classroom,” Barr said. “We want students who can manage the academic rigors in preparation for college and the discipline it requires.”
“We want to have quality programs, academically, athletically, spiritually.”
Clearly Ancich more than fits the bill.
He knows the drill.
And the Swordsmen faithful can hardly wait for him to get started.
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