The glory days of Purple Reign are coming, at least that’s the expectation Diamond Bar coach Ryan Maine brings to the team and community

“Coach Maine brings such energy and enthusiasm that when you wake up in the morning you can’t wait to go work out for him. He’s probably going to be the best coach at this school in a long time.” -- Diamond Bar senior running back Jamaal Clayton said.

By Aram Tolegian
There’s something contagious about new Diamond Bar High School football coach Ryan Maine. To spend a few minutes with him is to find yourself about ready to strap on pads and a helmet and hit someone in the name of Brahma football. And that’s just if you’re a normal person. What about the Brahmas’ actual football team? Well, let’s just say they’re fired up beyond belief for the upcoming season and it’s got everything to do with Maine.
“Coach Maine brings such energy and enthusiasm that when you wake up in the morning you can’t wait to go work out for him,” Diamond Bar senior running back Jamaal Clayton said. “He’s probably going to be the best coach at this school in a long time.”

And that’s exactly what the Brahams’ struggling football program needs.
Diamond Bar has fallen from being one of the top teams in the area in the late 1990s to an afterthought on the current area scene. If anybody remembers Diamond Bar’s glory days, it’s Maine. He won CIF championships at the school as a quarterback in 1998 and ’99. Maine was a sophomore back-up on the ’98 team, but was the starting quarterback in ’99.

“When I first came back, I noticed kids in our district were going to Chino Hills, Diamond Ranch, Damien and Bishop Amat,’ Maine said. “What I’ve noticed is that with schools like Diamond Ranch and Chino Hills coming in, the athletes here have diminished a little bit.

“When I played here, it was Diamond Bar getting Ganesha kids who didn’t want to go there or Ayala kids. My senior year, at spring practice we had 92 players on varsity. This year for spring practice we had 54.”

Winning is the cure-all and Maine knows it. But he’s taking baby steps for his team to get there. It can be something as minor as winning the SGV Shootout passing tournament in July, but Maine is using any bit of confidence-boosting news to the fullest.

“To the outside world, for the public and community, it’s about winning and getting publicity for it,” Maine said. “But personally, I’m trying to build these kids into being successful in life and have fun doing it.”

The team Maine inherits has a good chance to end Diamond Bar’s postseason drought. The Brahmas haven’t been to the playoffs since 2003, but that could change thanks to a loaded offense led by quarterback Henry Omana, receiver George Katrib and Clayton.

Although the Brahmas figure to have little trouble scoring, there are major concerns about a defense that allowed 31.8 points per game. Diamond Bar has had major trouble at the line of scrimmage in recent years, which is part of the reason why CIF dropped the school out of the Sierra League and into the Hacienda League and Southeast Division.

In terms of won-loss record, the move paid off as Diamond Bar went 6-4 overall last year. But because the Brahmas weren’t close in losses to West Covina, Bonita, Diamond Ranch and arch-rival Walnut, Diamond Bar was left out of the dance.

Maine, who played in college at Sacramento State and University of San Diego, came back to his alma mater to teach and coach baseball after a brief career in sales. He was offensive coordinator under previous head coach John Martin from 2007 until this past offseason when he was named head coach.

For Maine, turning around the program is as much about changing the psychology of the players as it is changing their physical attributes.

Maine has transformed the team room from the mess it was last year to something that resembles a college locker room.

Diamond Bar’s CIF championship banners hang in there to remind players what’s possible.

Nutrition has also become a part of the process. Maine has arranged for the players to be served protein drinks after workouts and has encouraged them to bring their own lunches from home during school days. Whether the strategy will pay off in the trenches is one thing, but it should be noted that last year Diamond Bar had four players run under a 5-second-flat, 40-yard sprint. This year that number is 25.

Clearly, the Brahmas are feeding off their enthusiastic 28-year-old coach. And that’s because Maine’s will to win has spread like wild fire and his players don’t want all the excitement and effort to be wasted on another ho-hum season.

“Last night, I fell asleep at 11p.m. and woke up at 4 a.m.,” Maine said. “I will call the players at 9 at night just to see how they’re doing. My mind just doesn’t stop thinking. I’ve always been competitive. It’s my passion.”

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  • Pantherpride

    You guys pumped them up last year and we spanked them. It’s the same ol, same ol, Diamond Ranch whips that poor stepchild again. They’re all hype, that’s all .. they’ll fold like they always do when the bright lights are on..

  • reality

    Perennial 0-10 team Keppel of the Almont League has a tougher non-league schedule than DB. Like last year you won’t know what you got with them until league starts. I’am always wary of a coach that is too much a rah rah guy. A head coach calling players at 9pm “to see how their doing” sounds kinds weird to me.

  • TheRealDB

    Ahhhh the Haters!!…..Gotta love it! But Pantherpride, sounds like many folks arent BIG on you guys either this yr!!??? Sounds like your running your mouth a bit early!! You problably should be worried more about whats going on in Pomona than Diamond Bar being that your arent considered part of Diamond Bar!!

  • Reality get Real

    reality said ” A head coach calling players at 9pm “to see how their doing” sounds kinds weird to me.” What is weird about a Head Coach being interested in how his players are doing at home not just at school? Get your mind right. Obviously you have never seen how Jim Harbaugh or Pete Carroll teams respond to excitement and intensity. Anyone who thinks a Football Program should only be built around how many wins you have and not be focused on helping the players become better men needs to take a look in the mirror at who THEY are as a man. Why must people hate on a guy trying to inspire young men? Why feel the need to tear that down?

  • Helmets

    When did they change to purple helmets? They look nice.

  • Dbarlover

    Hey hey hey, It’s a new day! DBar was pumped up last year and the fact is they went 6-4. Talk about the soft schedule all you want, there was improvement. If Martin had gone to Omana earlier we may have added another victory. But the past is in the past. Mayne has instilled a new attitute. Pantherpride, who knows, you may beat us again this year, but it won’t be like last year. We have a coach who understands how to motivate and even better, how to coach. Ryan is a coach that is passionate about his team, his players, and his school. We haven’t had that in a while. Roddy the recruiter isn’t getting all the beef he used to get and it will all catch up to him one day soon. In the meanwhile, you will see improvement at DBar. I don’t know if we’ll ever get to the top like we used to be, the school demographics are not promising, but we will be in the mix. That’s all we can ask…