By Fred J. Robledo, staff writer
One day after longtime Bonita coach Eric Podley and Covina’s Darryl Thomas resigned after spending more than a decade as head football coaches at their respective schools, one of the winningest in San Gabriel Valley history decided to hang it up after 19 years and a 70 percent winning clip in nearly two decades.
South Hills football coach Steve Bogan, who was named the Huskies head coach in 1992, resigned on Tuesday after winning four CIF-Southern Section titles, 13 league titles and compiling an overall record of 172-73 and 31-10 mark in the playoffs.
“It’s been a great, great ride,” Bogan said. “When I look back I’ve been very fortunate to be here this long. I’m not exactly sure where I’m going, but I couldn’t of asked for a better experience.” (To continue reading, click thread).
Bogan, a government and history teacher at South Hills since 1985, will remain at the school and continue to teach.
Bogan, who nearly left South Hills to take the Maranatha head coaching job last year, had thought about stepping aside in recent years.
“I just thought it was the right time,” Bogan said. “When I first got hired my goal was to go 10 years without being fired, because you heard of so many quality guys getting fired and you’re like, ‘it’s what have you done for me lately.’
“To be here this long and accomplish everything we did, I couldn’t of asked for anything more. South Hills is my home, it’s a great place and I will continue to be here. I’ve always thought I was a teacher first, and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”
Bogan said it’s too early to decide whether he’s finished coaching, he just knew he needed time off.
“I don’t know exactly what you want to call it,” Bogan said. “I’m going to look at possibly getting an administrative credential. I just felt like the Lord was saying you have to see what life is like on the other end. There were a lot of factors and the biggest one was our kids. I love them all, this is why we do what we do.”
Damien coach Greg Gano started his career as an assistant with Bogan in 1992 at South Hills. Gano later won four championships as the head coach at Los Altos and remains close friends with Bogan.
“I don’t think anybody has any perspective of what he’s accomplished at South Hills High School,” Gano said. “Not just the wins and losses, but his influence on kids, even after they graduated. He’s always been a class act.”
Bogan was named the San Gabriel Valley Tribune coach of the decade from 2000-09 — a span in which he won four CIF titles in five finals appearances, and reached at least the quarterfinals all ten years during that stretch. He also was named the Tribune and CIF-SS divisional coach of the year twice.
Bogan won his first championship in 2000, a 19-14 victory over La Habra in the Division IX title game that gave South Hills its first football title in 26 years.
After getting knocked out in the divisional semifinals in 2001, the Huskies won again in 2002, beating Walnut 36-8 for the Division VII title.
South Hills’ back-to-back bid came in 2003, which might have been Bogan’s best team of all.
The 2003 championship team led by brothers Bryan and Jeremy Payton, who went to Oregon State and Arizona State, respectively, only allowed six points in the entire playoffs, and that came in the Division VII championship game, a 25-6 blowout over San Gabriel.
After losing to rival West Covina in the Division VII championship in 2004, spoiling the Huskies’ three-peat bid, South Hills came right back the following season.
Bogan’s final championship campaign was a rout at Covina District Field, winning the 2005 Division VII crown with a 41-16 victory over Orange.
South Hills’ football program grew into a divisional and area power under Bogan, which promoted South Hills’ move to the more difficult Sierra League and the Inland Division (equivalent of Division 2) in 2009 — a climb of seven divisions since the Huskies won the Division IX crown in 2000.
South Hills struggled the past two years, going 3-7 in 2010 and ’11. The Huskies missed the playoffs both years, the first time they had missed the playoffs since 1998.
“I thought about leaving two years ago, but we were in transition,” Bogan said. “Our principal (Judy North) was retiring and we were moving into a much tougher league and division.
“I wasn’t at peace with leaving then, but I just got to the point where it was time, and I’ll still be here to help make the transition (for the next coach) as smooth as possible.”