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.