What would Azusa Pacific leaving the NAIA for NCAA Division II do for area athletes and the San Gabriel Valley’s fan base?

If you haven’t been to an APU football game you’re missing out. It’s the closest thing we have to a small town college atmosphere. They draw more fans locally than anyone other than Bishop Amat. Not just in football, but in all sports. It’s by far the area’s best sports school in terms of fan support.

With Cal Baptist leaving the NAIA to Division II, Azusa Pacific is expected to follow next year and would likely join the CCAA with Cal Poly, Pomona, an intriguing possibility that could create a much needed area rivalry among the valley college athletic powers. In football, APU already has a huge fan base competing in the NAIA, where it won a national title in 1997, but the bump to Division II would be even more appealing to area players — and area coaches such as South Hills’ Steve Bogan, who would likely be interested if the job ever became available. Read Michelle Gardner’s story in today’s Tribune, she examines the possibilities: Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball coach Greg Kamansky can’t help but be a bit concerned these days. He has been successful with limited resources in leading the Broncos to an NCAA national championship four months ago and an appearance in the title came the previous year, but Division II is changing and it’s likely to make his job even tougher. California Baptist, an NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) power, is among eight schools whose application to move into the NCAA Division II was accepted earlier this week.

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  • Aaron

    You should have just said they draw more fans than anyone locally.

  • Anthony

    Victor Santa Cruz is their Head Coach. He’s a young coach with a Great future. If they make this move to Division II they don’t need a high school coach they already have a good coach in place.

  • APU ROCKS !!!

    I spoke to a few of the APU Basketball coaches recently and the subject of Chris Adams came up. I asked why more Damien students weren’t recruited to play for APU and they said, ‘WE TRY BUT THEY WON”T COME!” When I asked about Chris Adams they said he’d be perfect for them, because his game is incomplete, but he wanted to be D1 because his Travel Ball coach convinced him he was a D1 “lock” but wasn’t. Hopefully moving up to D2 makes local players want to look at APU closer. Great campus, great facilities and a great education. Too bad more local students shun playing fo them and instead walk on and petter out in one ot two year at a D1 school when playing locally would have been nice.

    I know Damien’s Griffin and Riley both have had great success at Chapman so not every player needs to believe “D1 or nothing” and instead sit at home like a few former high schools studs are.

    Hey if your college is paid (grants, loans, aid) for and you get to play in front of familiy and friends…why not?

  • whitey

    if APU moves to NCAA D2, how will the prospective student athletes be able to play, the restrictions on scholarships is vastly different than NAIA schools, the DElgado brothers received nearly 30k last year to play baseball, ain’t gonna happen in D2

  • just sayin’

    Aaron – he didn’t write that because it isn’t true. “They draw more fans locally than anyone other than Bishop Amat.” In season longl attendance you could probably add whoever is second to the APU attendance and still not equal Amat’s total.

  • Aaron

    This is about APU and Fred drew the Lancers into it…that’s why people don’t like it. And why in the world would they want a high school coach?

  • FredJ

    Oh Aaron, I mentioned Amat for perspective .. local colleges like Mt. SAC, Citrus, La Verne, PCC don’t draw many fans, but APU is the exception, the atmosphere is close to big-time high school football … I mentioned Bogan because he has pondered coaching small college football, is a graduate of Cal Lutheran and would fit their christian-need profile, plus his name recognition locally would probably help.

  • confused reader

    whitey explain what you’re saying and what the issues are. I’m confused.

  • Are we man – crushing again Fred

    Fred are APU’s roster “locally” filled? Bogan is a Christian but his sideline manner is anything but in the games I’ve seen him in. The man is a screamer like no other. Bill Walsh he’s not !

    Besides he can’t beat Roddy Layton and Diamond Ranch so how is he going to beat collge teams. lol

    Roddy coaches at MSAC and was coached by John Robinson at USC. What’s Bogan’s history?

  • Aaron

    Point is to you Fred, well played.

  • FredJ

    Bogan’s history? umm, four championships to Roddy’s zero

  • FredJ

    As far as sideline manner, coach Odell wasn’t exactly the quietest guy in the room as APUs basketball coach … if ya know what I mean… coaches are still coaches, they work refs whether it’s a christian or public funded school.

  • FredJ

    Have all of you noticed how fast the comments are posting today? .. I don’t know if it was a system upgrade or what, but this is nice.

  • TC Bruin

    IF Bogan goes to APU, will the ‘Guru’ be going with him OR will the ‘Guru’ be next in line for the HC job at SH?

  • FredJ

    Lets be clear, I’m not saying Bogan is going to APU, they have a coach, I’m just saying it would be a more attractive job to area coaches thinking of making the leap…

  • Aaron

    It would be nice if more kids in the area that still wanted to play would go to our DIIIs, it would be nice especially with how much La Verne has struggled this last decade.

  • Not from what I’ve seen.

    Fred try and argue from a position of equal footing. How many Championships does Bogan have while Roddy has been a Head Coach. While it could be argued that DR has been on a run, two years ago SH was loaded with Deen and Co and last year he had ALL the line men everyone is bragging about THIS year…yet he was out coached as much as out played. Can you argue that wihout saying “Four Championships”? As far as working the refs. I seen Bogan go after a score keeper for not putting an extra point up fast enough and he was leading by 20! No joke he screamed so loud the PA guy mentioned the score keeper was a “volunteer”. That’s uncalled for especially from a philosopher or his reputation. Should have seen him run from one end of the sideline afetr the kick to the score keeper’s box at teh 50. Lost allot of respect for him on that day although I hear nothing but nice things about him from Gano’s boys. Mayeb he’s a better winner than he is a “struggler”.

  • FredJ

    Okay, I will make a comparison based on the past four years both coached…
    Diamond Ranch no winning seasons, have gone 5-7, 2-9, 7-7, 7-7, two finals appearances, best finish second in league, 21-29 overall record.
    South Hills three league championships, two semifinals and two quarterfinal appearances, have gone 6-6, 10-3, 9-3 and 10-3 for a 36-15 overall record…

    Diamond Ranch’s only claim in this argument are the two close head-to-head playoff wins (31-27 and 15-12 in OT), but the overall body of work isn’t comparable at all…I love Layton, and scheduling has had something to do with it, but he has to at least have a winning season first….

  • Straight Up Layton WIns.

    Fred I won’t concede the point easily. wasn’t the 2-9 season an on field 7-3 season with forfeits based on a paper snafu?

    Here’s soem coaching info for you Fred

    06-07 season

    Lost to Edison 6-35 Edison was a State Finalist that year.
    Lost to Chino Hills who lost to Norco in the first round and went on to win the State Championship that year over Chaparral.
    Lost to Servite 0-50 who lost to Edison
    Lost to Oaks Christian 0-57 who won a State Bowl game that year
    Lost to Charter Oak 20-21 who was a CIF Finalist
    Lost to Bonita 14-17
    Lost to Eldorado 7-38 who beat Charter Oak in CIF Final

    That’s seven loses. Six to eventual CIF Finalists or State Finalist or lost to them. That’s a tough road but no one is crying. Plus he had to build that team into believers.

    The very next year:

    Loses to Edison but makes a better game of it losing 13-27.
    Beats Chino Hills 42-28. That’s 42 point son Chino Hills. Not easy.
    Loses to Oaks Christian 21-34. Again that team was loaded with studs and D1 talent.
    Lose to Bonita again and then comes the forfeits.

    The year two years are equal measure outrageous schedule and breaking in a new quarterback who went to two Finals, back to back. Plus you have to give Layton credit for beating Schurr and South Hills last year on the way to the Finals.

    I understand you allegiance to Bogan, I do, and I give the man credit for his four Championships. Only an idiot wouldn’t but in my humble opinion I think Roddy gets more out of his players game in and game out against way tougher competition. Plus in the age of the blog Roddy is universally loved and respected. That’s huge as Bogan, Gano and earlier on Farrar were bashed and second guessed.

    To key for me is how Roddy has been able to address all those loses. 100 plus points in two games and still fight on…pretty incredible if you ask me.

    The point here is who’s a better coach. I know Podley has DR’s number but other than that, with apologies to Aaron, how many playoff wins or top opponents have they faced. That to me separates Layton from others. Yes he’s a talker but clearly some one is listening and more importantly the kids love playing for him.

    Fred I just respectfully disagree. The fun will be seeing Farrar, Gano, Bub and Iglima face each other. Trust me he won’t match his past four year results…or maybe he win.

    And like I said everyone I’ve spoken to loves Bogan as a person so all is not lost, lol.

  • SGV attendance, loyalty, stadiums – you’re joking – right????

    CA schools have no real concept of fan loyalty as well as good stadiums – there are middle schools in Texas that have attendance that will equal even B Amat – and i have yet to be in a good high school football stadium in CA, the below link is to Pennington Field it is in Texas and where two high schools play their home games – Euless Trinity and L.D. Bell – it seats over 13,000 and who knows how many can ring the end zones // in CA visiting hs bands rarely travel, many aluminum and wooden bleacher stadiums here in the valley could double as cow pastures – and i am sick and tired of my son running track meets here on dirt tracks – I have never seen a dirt track even at the middle school level until i came to CA – until you have been in a stadium for a high school game with over 55,000 in attendance (which I have more than once)- then dont boast about attendance, loyalty, and stadiums here in the valley


  • Cougar

    The move to D2 is more for the football program than any of the other sports. They cannot go undefeated every year, which is the only way they can expect to make the playoffs as an independent in the NAIA. Thus, moving to D2 gives them access to a conference.

    The school has to make the committment to more finances for additional full-time coaches, grad assistants and scholarships for it to be feasible and successful.

    To the young man who suggested that their head coach is a young guy with a bright future; please look at his record against an average schedule the past 3 years. It isn’t very good.

    He has now scheduled a number of the local D3 schools in an effort to get some wins. His days are numbered. He wasn’t their first choice. Brian Wilmer, defensive coordinator, was their first choice.

    The job will open before they go to D2.

  • California

    SGV attendance, loyalty, stadiums – you’re joking – right???? — Why haven’t you returned to Texas? What’s keeping you in CA if you are so unhappy with, as you stated, “attendance, loyalty, and stadiums here in the valley”. California just may not be the place for you…since you used “cow pastures” as a comparison, wow…really?

  • Aaron

    APU actually loses scholarships and can’t give out as much money moving to DII.

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