Another coach leaves, Rosemead’s Matt Koffler resigns saying he’s simply, “burned out.”

If you’re keeping score, Bonita’s Eric Podley, Covina’s Darryl Thomas, South Hills’ Steve Bogan, Rosemead’s Matt Koffler and Wilson’s Bob Burt all resigned this week … Who’s next and when will it stop? BTW, there are many good comments on this thread, check it out.

By Aram Tolegian

Rosemead High School football coach Matt Koffler became the latest in a rash of local football coaches to resign this week when he announced at the Panthers’ team banquet Tuesday he is stepping down after 10 seasons combined at the school.

Rosemead was one of the area’s most consistent winners under Koffler. It took home four Mission Valley League championships and reached the CIF-SS Mid-Valley Division championship game in 2008 and the Division VII semifinals in 2001. Rosemead made the playoffs in eight of Koffler’s 10 seasons.

He briefly left Rosemead in 2002 to take a job at Artesia. He later spent one season at La Puente before returning to Rosemead in 2004. The Panthers went 82-41 under Koffler. Rosemead was 5-5 this past season and missed the playoffs.

“I guess I’m just burned out,” Koffler said. “My kids are playing football now and I guess everyone is kind of resigning over the same thing. It was a compilation of things, like your kids are getting older and things are going on with budget issues. It was getting real tough.”


Koffler, who lives in Huntington Beach, has two sons, ages 9 and 6. Earlier this week, longtime Covina coach Darryl Thomas resigned in order to dedicate more time to the football careers of his sons, one of whom is a freshman at Upland High. Koffler is the fifth area coach in three days to resign.

“It was very emotional tonight,” Koffler said. “You grow up here and you’re known here and then you take over a program that was struggling and turn it around. It was fun.

“It was a very big decision and very emotional tonight for the players, staff and myself.”
Koffler was a star quarterback at Rosemead before graduating in 1992 and earned a scholarship to play at USC, where he still owns the record for longest touchdown pass in Trojans history — 97 yards against Illinois in 1996.

After graduating from USC, Koffler eventually took over a Panthers program that had fallen on hard times.

Despite being a prolific passer in high school, Koffler’s coaching style emphasized a strong running game and defense. The wins quickly followed.

The Panthers had considerable success under Koffler, picking up wins through the years over some of the area’s top programs such as Monrovia, Temple City, Diamond Ranch, South Hills, San Dimas and Schurr. Koffler’s 2001 team lost to Charter Oak in the semifinals. His 2008 team lost to Paraclete in the Mid-Valley Division championship game.

Several of Koffler’s assistant coaches later went on to become head coaches elsewhere in the Valley. Koffler was the Tribune’s Coach of the Year in 2001.

“I am very proud, bigtime,” Koffler said of his run at Rosemead. “It was good. You surround yourself with good, solid people and you have fun doing what you do and you can have some success.”

The school is expected to fly the position, but defensive coordinator Marc Paramo, a longtime Koffler assistant, is considered the front runner.

Koffler did not rule out a return to coaching, but would not provide a timeline as to when.

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  • MidValley

    This is getting crazy. Who will be next. I know there are definetly 4 more and from the 71 freeway to the 605, and possibly even more. Being a head coach isn’t what it is cracked up to be. It is almost better to be a top assistant. Pay is the same and less pressure.

  • Budget Issues

    Koffler gave the real reason for all these coaches leaving when he uttered the magic words “budget issues.”

    These guys aren’t “burned out”, they’re financially abused by the ridiculously small amount of dollars given them and their programs. Consider the ratio of what the average college coach makes vs. what the average High School coach gets and you’ll understand.

    I know that with the money crunch, all High Schools are feeling the pinch. Still, the schools remain ‘top heavy’ with high-salaried administrators, ineffective but long-tenured teachers, and sports teams like Tennis and Soccer which cost money to operate, yet generate no funds on their own.

    I forsee a time when the schools will either find a way to cut some of this financial lard out of their system and give it to football, or else privately operated football teams may appear, and then with proper funding, guys like Koffler will amazingly not be “burned out” anymore.

    The truth is that a High School’s football program is the only thing that actually prepares a kid for the outside world; the rest of it is just forced propaganda.

  • Sierra League Fan

    CIF is to blame. When they passed the “association rule” basically allowing sports to go year – round, they opened a can of worms. Coaches are now being asked to coach their teams year – round for the same, or even less pay (due to district budget cuts). If a football coach isn’t working with his team in February, he gets behind the other schools that are. There are winter & spring passing leagues now that they are expected to participate in. It is rediculous. It has also kept many kids from being multi sport athletes because their coaches want them all year long. For example, Basketball has summer leagues that all the players are expected to play in even though their season doesn’t start until November…keeping them from playing football or playing in the baseball summer leagues. Coaches are tired of not being able to share athletes like the old days and tired of working more for the same or less play. This all equates to being burned out! I don’t blame them. Then you add in all the crap they have to deal with regarding psycho parents. That is enough to make any one quit.

  • AMAT 73

    Fred J ,
    Seems like a good time to put up a thread on what bloggers think are major issues concerning the mass exodus of some of the finest coaches in the area. To lose men of their caliber is only hurting the young men of the SGV and other areas. Just a thought.

  • Fred Robledo

    Working on a story that covers exactly what you’re speaking of….Sierra League fan hit the nail on the head and it was something I mentioned on the Bogan thread as well.

  • QUESTION

    Not to be prying into these coaches salaries, but what does a average high school coach make Fred???

  • ConcuSSionSymptomS

    the usual stipend is approx $3,000 – $4,000 per season for anywhere from 2 to 4 coaches per season. then you add the lower assistants who are anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500 per season depending on the program. Now I know there are schools who pay more and then there are the privates who do what privates do, but that is the general public wage… now divide that by 2 hours a day – 4 days a week from Feb through June and the 3 hours a day – 6 days a week from August to November = i will let you do the math.

  • Fred Robledo

    That’s a tough question, salaries are different depending on how many years they’re teaching, what they’re teaching, etc, etc. What hasn’t increased much are the coaching stipends, which is why coaches are quitting but remaining teachers. When I was in Pasadena, the Bulldogs AD told me the Pasadena stipend for coaching is one of the worst in California. He said the football coaching stipend was something like 2,000 for the season, and that the coaching stipends for all their sports hasn’t changed since the late 70s….That’s sad.

  • Sierra League Fan

    Yes,
    Most Varsity head coaches make in the $3,000 – $4,000 range. I know of some who split their stipend so they can hire more coaches. Most districts will only pay for about 6 stipends for the whole program!!!! Leaving the boosters or fund raising to pay for the other 8-10 + coaches on the Freshmen – varsity staffs. The private schools pay their coaches much more and add extra incentive pay…they have deeper pockets to do that. Concussion is on the low side of time that coaches put in. They coach for pennies an hour, yet have the stresses of the job and having to answer to some whacked out parents……..many are finding it not worth the time they are away from their families now that it is year round.

  • Needs fixen

    CIF needs to rework the rule book and put time restrictions and season restrictions on the time that coaches spend with the kids. We need to get away from this 1 sport specializing in high school. We need to encourage kids to play multiple sports in high school and give coaches some r&r time away from their sports after the season is over.

  • SIde Job

    Yeah, the CIF association rule opened the sports up to year round coaching, but that doesn’t mean it is for free. A lot of coaches hold private “clinics” on the weekends or for other sports, run club teams that generate significant income for very few hours. There are a lot of parents paying for private coaching so Johnny can be a star. These other coaches just need to tap into that.

  • no-step

    Dare we hope that Gano will be next?

  • Former Coach

    I have spent 7 years of my teaching career as a varsity head coach of one of the three major HS sports in this area and recently walked away from coaching. A major part of our program included character building and preparing our players to be more armed and informed individuals as they prepare for the current and next level of their lives. Out of all the reasons suggested as to why all these coaches are stepping away from their coaching positions, pay and time spent are typically 2nd and 3rd of the 3 behind one of the main reasons and that is the negativity that comes from the parents and the constant bashing that coaches receive on this blog. Over the past 10 years or so, the parenting perspective has become extremely skewed and out of whack. Gone are the days of parents holding their kids accountable for their actions and supporting the school and the teachers, and especially the coaches. High School athletics are about school spirit, marching bands, Friday night football games, rival basketball games, letterman jackets, and pride for your school. Many parents have forgot about this and have incorporated their own personal agendas into son/daughter’s lives and are living vicariously through their children. In all my conversations that I had with “concerned” parents over my 7 years, very rarely was a parent concerned about how their son was being treated and more concerned about why their son wasn’t playing more. All too often the fact that we preached establishing good relationships with everyone around you, being respectful and humble, and working hard and earning the things that you want in life, was a non existent priority in any of those conversations. It is really shameful to read some of the things that get written on these blogs when it comes to attacking coaches and players on here as it represents a true trend in the direction that our society is headed in. In regards to the previous post on coaches making up to $4000, I’d like to know what school that is because in all my 7 years as a varsity head coach I never took home more than $1800 after taxes and I have to say that is the norm among public school coaches. You can all sit here and spin it however you want and speculate as to why these coaches are walking away, but having experienced it first hand, the reason for MOST of these coaches, not all, is apparent. At what point do we stop forcing out good “people” that coach and wake up to the fact that some of the parents that come on here and spew negativity can barely control their own kid, let alone a program of 45-75 kids, depending on which sport you coach. We as coaches, coach because we love the game, we love working with young men, and we love the sprit of high school competition and the rivalry, not for the money so unless your son is being mistreating or verbally abused by their coach, why don’t you just say Thank you for providing my son with a life-long memory of being able to talk about playing a high school with some of the guys that he will get together with 20 years from now.

  • Former Coach

    I have spent 7 years of my teaching career as a varsity head coach of one of the three major HS sports in this area and recently walked away from coaching. A major part of our program included character building and preparing our players to be more armed and informed individuals as they prepare for the current and next level of their lives. Out of all the reasons suggested as to why all these coaches are stepping away from their coaching positions, pay and time spent are typically 2nd and 3rd of the 3 behind one of the main reasons and that is the negativity that comes from the parents and the constant bashing that coaches receive on this blog. Over the past 10 years or so, the parenting perspective has become extremely skewed and out of whack. Gone are the days of parents holding their kids accountable for their actions and supporting the school and the teachers, and especially the coaches. High School athletics are about school spirit, marching bands, Friday night football games, rival basketball games, letterman jackets, and pride for your school. Many parents have forgot about this and have incorporated their own personal agendas into son/daughter’s lives and are living vicariously through their children. In all my conversations that I had with “concerned” parents over my 7 years, very rarely was a parent concerned about how their son was being treated and more concerned about why their son wasn’t playing more. All too often the fact that we preached establishing good relationships with everyone around you, being respectful and humble, and working hard and earning the things that you want in life, was a non existent priority in any of those conversations. It is really shameful to read some of the things that get written on these blogs when it comes to attacking coaches and players on here as it represents a true trend in the direction that our society is headed in. In regards to the previous post on coaches making up to $4000, I’d like to know what school that is because in all my 7 years as a varsity head coach I never took home more than $1800 after taxes and I have to say that is the norm among public school coaches. You can all sit here and spin it however you want and speculate as to why these coaches are walking away, but having experienced it first hand, the reason for MOST of these coaches, not all, is apparent. At what point do we stop forcing out good “people” that coach and wake up to the fact that some of the parents that come on here and spew negativity can barely control their own kid, let alone a program of 45-75 kids, depending on which sport you coach. We as coaches, coach because we love the game, we love working with young men, and we love the sprit of high school competition and the rivalry, not for the money so unless your son is being mistreating or verbally abused by their coach, why don’t you just say Thank you for providing my son with a life-long memory of being able to talk about playing a high school with some of the guys that he will get together with 20 years from now.

  • Former Coach

    I have spent 7 years of my teaching career as a varsity head coach of one of the three major HS sports in this area and recently walked away from coaching. A major part of our program included character building and preparing our players to be more armed and informed individuals as they prepare for the current and next level of their lives. Out of all the reasons suggested as to why all these coaches are stepping away from their coaching positions, pay and time spent are typically 2nd and 3rd of the 3 behind one of the main reasons and that is the negativity that comes from the parents and the constant bashing that coaches receive on this blog. Over the past 10 years or so, the parenting perspective has become extremely skewed and out of whack. Gone are the days of parents holding their kids accountable for their actions and supporting the school and the teachers, and especially the coaches. High School athletics are about school spirit, marching bands, Friday night football games, rival basketball games, letterman jackets, and pride for your school. Many parents have forgot about this and have incorporated their own personal agendas into son/daughter’s lives and are living vicariously through their children. In all my conversations that I had with “concerned” parents over my 7 years, very rarely was a parent concerned about how their son was being treated and more concerned about why their son wasn’t playing more. All too often the fact that we preached establishing good relationships with everyone around you, being respectful and humble, and working hard and earning the things that you want in life, was a non existent priority in any of those conversations. It is really shameful to read some of the things that get written on these blogs when it comes to attacking coaches and players on here as it represents a true trend in the direction that our society is headed in. In regards to the previous post on coaches making up to $4000, I’d like to know what school that is because in all my 7 years as a varsity head coach I never took home more than $1800 after taxes and I have to say that is the norm among public school coaches. You can all sit here and spin it however you want and speculate as to why these coaches are walking away, but having experienced it first hand, the reason for MOST of these coaches, not all, is apparent. At what point do we stop forcing out good “people” that coach and wake up to the fact that some of the parents that come on here and spew negativity can barely control their own kid, let alone a program of 45-75 kids, depending on which sport you coach. We as coaches, coach because we love the game, we love working with young men, and we love the sprit of high school competition and the rivalry, not for the money so unless your son is being mistreating or verbally abused by their coach, why don’t you just say Thank you for providing my son with a life-long memory of being able to talk about playing a high school with some of the guys that he will get together with 20 years from now.

  • Resignation

    Side Job,

    You’re thought process is exactly what is WRONG with high school athletics. A lot of the one’s who do that could care less about things like school pride, individual character, etc. The one’s who have resigned do care about those things.

  • SGV

    very true coaches in high school dont get paid a lot especially now the sports is year around and yea lots of students dont do other sports and i think they should do other sports beside what they are doing but there are coaches out there that dont let their kids do no other sports as well and thats an on going battle but the salary is horrible in today economy

  • GHigh

    In Pomona Unified the Varsity football coach stipend is a little over $5000, and for other sports is $4500, yet we aren’t able to find many good coaches who want to coach here. The year round thing causes somewhat of a problem, but when it was against the rules many were still doing it without repercussions. At low income schools none of the kids can afford to play for clubs, or pay coaches to help them during the offseason, so if they do play during the offseason its because the coaches gave their time for free.
    Truth is high school coaches have always coached for very little money. All of these coaches, many of them very successful, are resigning because they have other things to do in their lives. These other issues might add to it, but are purely conjecture at this point.

  • ConcuSSionSymptomS

    @ Former Coach,

    You have hit the nail squarely upon its head sir.

  • Fred Robledo

    I thought former coach’s comments were interesting and fair, especially the criticism of the blog and how many coaches feel about it. I get it, but not all the comments are negative. If you’re going to have a blog, negative comments come with the territory, it’s part of what the curious readers want to read about. Whether it’s this blog or any other popular sports blog, you won’t draw readers unless you allow commenters to voice their opinions, good and bad, even when it comes to the reporters. I probably get ripped more than anyone else, it comes with the territory. But I will say this, many of the coaches who complain strongly about this blog are the same coaches who email and call and ask me to post their football camps, baseball camps and basketball camps on the blog. They want me to post thier tournaments, and update them, so you you have to take the good with the bad. I still feel there are far more pro’s than con’s when it comes to this blog. If you remember, just a couple years ago there was the Christmas massacre in Covina. It was horrible and kids from those families played baseball. Baseball coaches in the area rallied to promote a fundraiser at APU and through the help of this blog promoting it (this is what the coaches told me), they were able to raise a lot of money for the families. There have been other instances like that over the years, so while I understand the negative comments can be troubling at times, the popularity of this blog is best used in times of need and to help promote the area high schools.

  • Former Coach

    Fred,

    Please don’t get me wrong. I think the blog has been beneficial to our local athletes and it is a great way to promote events as we continue to utilize technology as a means of communicating in mass. My comments were more directed at the parents that come on here and forget that most coaches are also teachers that positively impact more people than just the 45-75 athletes that we deal with. Some of my best and most rewarding teaching stories had nothing to do with an athlete and have everything to do with many of the at-risk kids that have come to me and said thank you for taking the time to help direct them down the right path when many of their own family members couldn’t be bothered. I think the football coverage and the live interviews are great and your coverage of our local athletic programs has been phenomenal. My frustrations simply lie with parents that come on here and forget where our priorities as a society should lie and be careful when personally bashing coaches because they called a run instead of a pass or they gave their son the bunt sign when we all know he would have hit a home run. Kudos to you on your efforts and your accommodation to coaches as you were always pleasant to talk to in my dealings with you. I am just frustrated with the parents of the kids that we are trying to provide guidance and direction to coming on here and sending the wrong message to what is truly important. Thanks again Fred.

  • WTF?

    The solution to all of this is to make the Head Coach a coach. Pay him his teaching salary and all he does is coach. No classroom other than football. Then if he is ineffective he gets fired and becomes a teacher at the school. Texas does that. But then again, they are so far ahead of California in terms of sports it isn’t even funny.

  • Sierra League Fan

    WTF?
    You are correct about Texas athletics. The head football coach at the school get paid for doing just that, running a football program. If they are not successful, they get fired.

    Fred,
    The problem with these blogs is that anonymous people can get on here and rip a coach to shreds and he has no recourse. If he responds on here, he’d get ripped even more. If a coach were to say anything negative about a parent or player who is spreading the negativity, he’d be crucified. So, these hard working men who pour their souls and sweat into a program basically are lined up in front of the firing line and slandered by gutless, anonymous folks who can say anything they want – true or not – without any repercussions. That is not right and these men are human, the comments sting!

  • Fred Robledo

    You can’t say “anything” you want, we delete plenty that cross the line. Unfortunately though, you will always have that element as long as you have blogs. If you read any other blog or stories from newspaper webpages that allow comments, there are always negative comments no matter where you go. The Trib blogs are no different, this is the society we live in now. We all have to grow thicker skin because blogs and anonymous comments aren’t going away.

  • No Fred

    Other blogs have requirements such as facebook log ins that hold people accountable.

  • Fred Robledo

    If a commenter wants to remain anonymous, they can remain anonymous, even with facebook or sign-on twitters, people simply create anonymous facebook or twitters accounts and comment away. If you read other blogs with these requirements, it happens all the time. Having said that, for the past year I have heard we were moving toward those requirements too, and in fact, have done so to comment on stories on our webpages. But until that time, this blog uses the same criteria that all blogs in our newspaper group use. I welcome the change when it happens.

  • AyalaBulldogFan

    @ Former Coach,

    Thanks for sharing and good luck in your future endeavours. The sane among us value what you and your colleagues do day in and day out, year in and year out.

  • AZTEC PRIDE

    @ No Fred;

    Yes Facebook has its log in format in place and are patrolled real well I might say! You BASICALLY can’t say anything wrong about the team, coaches and players because they delete you ASAP. You’re better off going to the TEAMS website if they have a FAN PAGE for blogging and you can voice your OPINIONS more openly, if you know what I mean. I would go on the RAMS FB page, and you want to talk about strict and they’ll DELETE you in HEARTBEAT, if you say anything wrong about ANYBODY! Actually I stopped going on the page because it got ridiculous!

    Fred does the best he can I believe and filters out the BAD and the GOOD at times. Yes the Coach has great points about hurtful bloggers, but you’ve got to know FOOTBALL BLOGGING can be brutal at times, and yes can also be VERY INTRESTING!

    I see it this way and when you’re entering a FOOTBALL BLOG, well you better be prepared to enter the LIONS DEN and like Fred said, you better have thick skin, because this isn’t for the SOFT HEARTED!

  • Thesis

    Once again it comes to the value of the blog and once again it’s all about the parents and the negativity of the blog comments upon the helpless shoulders of the coaches. Is that really an argument worth making? I tend to look at things with evidence rather than conjecture and exaggerations based on assumptions or generalizations.

    Which of the current resigning coaches took a bath on the blog? Podley? Thomas? Bogan? Koffler? Seriously, all are well liked on their campuses and all have been COY candidates promoted by bloggers many times over. In fact there are NO parent stalkers with any of these coaches that come from “their” respective schools so when has the blog played a role in their decisions to step down. Try answering that question with evidence and not antedote.

    Mountain View and Schurr have similar situations with staffs that are well liked by their players and rarely if ever are mentioned on the blog, so again why is the blog or parents an issue with these resignations? Matter of fact the MV HC and staff built that program with smoke and mirrors, talk about outstanding guys. Schurr is Schurr they’ll attract a solid staff and be just fine.

    The Wilson case is unique and clearly an administration in flux and bloggershave been merciless no doubt but winning cures all ills as La Puente has shown. So once agains where is teh evidence parents or bloggers forced coaches out?

    The way I’ve always seen this problem is simple, call the parent in, along with the coaches in question and deal with it in house. Chances are there is a solution agreeable to all parties that takes every one’s concerns into question. What you don’t do is tear the blogger parent’s kid a new one.

    Every day I read about coaches being role models and sports being a character building vehicle in a student’s life but somehow the blog trumps all that? Really? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read or heard coaches say “I love coaching but I hate the parents”, really? I have a slution for those coaches, “COACH AT ORPHANGES!”.

    “If” the blog has a weakness it’s the moderatorswho routinely live off the negative comments because they generate the most buzz. Just look at the countless threads/stories with no comments, WHY? My guess is it’s easier to not compliment for fear soemone will tear their kids/coaches/schools a new one.

    If an anaolgy can be made here regarding the blog it’s raising kids. “This” blog is some one’s “baby” (business term) and while in it’s infancy(early stages) all hiccups ( missteps) are forgiven and after 8 years it’s time to call a come clean ( product assessment), “What defined role does the blog have in the SGV and is it ultimately positive or negative and why?”

    Maybe Fred, Aram and Steve can answer that question without thinking this is a dig or an indictment on their character. In all fairness to the Sportswriters in the Fish Bowl their bosses hung them out to dry because none of them really new what they had on their hands. Just likethe HC who asked for the association rule change only to cry about it’s implications after the fact, too late now the genie’s out of the bottle.

  • AMAT 73

    AZTEC PRIDE,
    Come on buddy , don’t tell me you have anything negative to say on our beloved RAMS !!!!! . Kind of glad to see Spags gone , seems he lost touch along with the offense losing touch of the endzone with McDaniels running the show.play calling was for shiat. Let’s hope Fischer ??? does a better job. I was rooting for Chuckie but what do I know . Although I would like to see Slater handle the offesive line and Faulk coach the backs.

  • AZTEC PRIDE

    AMAT 73, yes you caught me in a LIE!HAHAHA… Yes I still go on the RAMS FB PAGE,lol…Can’t get over my BELOVED RAMS, but they keep breaking my heart,sigh…hahhaha…

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!

  • Dog Town

    Fred: Being that a lot of this discussion is on stipends, and being many of these schools are public. is there in your opinion any legal way that we as parents,fans, etc. could possibly contribute to the stipends that the coaches get of our high school sports? Now that we are talking about year around situations, and how it seems to be heading that way. We have to find a way to to compensate them. This exodus is a real suprise and kind of dissapointing.I realise changing of the guard and all of that, but the coaches are getting the short end of the stick.

  • ConcuSSionSymptomS

    Most of the programs are funded by their booster club and not the school/district. I do not think there is any rule about paying a coach more if your booster club is whiling to fundraise for that $. Remember though, some coaches do take less in order to add additional coaches to their staffs, so in some ways it is a catch-22 of sorts.