Just Tribbin on Coach of the Year: Phat Albert’s leading the way for Gladstone and South Hills

The early list of coach of the year candidates are plentiful. Anything can happen over the next several weeks, but the early contenders are worth noting, and for the fun of it, I’ll rank the TOP TEN.

Above: First-year coach Albert Rodriguez has a huge game against Charter Oak on Friday. Both teams are 5-1.

1. Albert Sanchez, Gladstone — In what might be his final season he’s having his best season ever and the Gladiators (6-0) are off to their best start in school history. But are they hanging by a thread? A 10-0 regular season would be remarkable for a team that had key players quit before the season.

2. Albert Rodriguez, South Hills — Another truly remarkable story. Nobody, and I mean nobody, would have pegged the Huskies to be 5-1. Not after the firepower they lost last year and replacing legendary coach Steve Bogan. Few still expect the Huskies to make the playoffs in the Sierra, but if they knock off Charter Oak this week, and that’s a big if, move Rodriguez to the front of the line.

3. Randy Reams, Ayala — Nobody expected a 3-7 team from last year to be 5-1 and a serious threat to win the Sierra League title. He’s done an unbelievable job and if they beat Chino Hills this week, his stock soars.

4. Steve Hagerty, Bishop Amat — This wasn’t supposed to be the year the Lancers went undefeated. Not with Jalen Moore, Rio Ruiz and Zach Shay graduated. Not with games against Chino Hills, Servite, Charter Oak, La Mirada and St. Paul. But they’ve done it again, their best start since …well, 2010, when they started 9-0.

5. Joel Sanchez, El Monte – One of the hardest places to build a winner, Sanchez finally has one. They’re 4-2 and trying to win their first league title since 1979. After beating Arroyo for the first time since 1990, they’re off to a good start.

6. Lou Farrar, Charter Oak — Big Lou’s surprising us again. With Travis Santiago graduated and Kurt Scoby off to St. Paul, no way are the Chargers (5-1) competing for the Sierra League again. Turns out, they might be more dominant than ever.

7. Craig Snyder, Rowland — No way was this team supposed to be 5-2 and tied for the Hacienda League race at any point. It shows again that Snyder is truly one of the gems in the San Gabriel Valley. There aren’t many who can do as much with less.

8. Adrian Medrano, Bonita — Can remember when bloggers were calling him a “one and done” coach after starting 0-3, though two losses were close games to San Dimas and La Serna. The first-year coach has been the talk of the town since, winning three straight Hacienda league games in convincing fashion. If the ‘Cats (3-3) win league and go deep in the playoffs, he’s got a shot.

9. Jason Martin, Duarte — When you’re 3-0 in the Montview (4-2 overall) and already have knocked off four-time league champ Azusa and ended its 27-game league winning streak, you’re in the running for coach of the year honors. This might be the best Falcons team since Wardell Crutchfield was let go to “move in another direction.”

10. Jerry Lewallen, Glendora — He may round out the list, but the Tartans and Lewallen control their own destiny too. Seriously, if they somehow shocked the world and won the Baseline, he would have to be a strong, strong consideration. Walk-on coaches can’t win the Baseline can they? As is, a 3-3 start is great considering the injuries in all their losses.

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  • ???

    Your stupid Aram! It does not matter to you who actually deserves the coach of the year, because you just give it to whichever coach wins CIF. That way it is easy for you.

  • Fred Robledo

    No, stupid is calling the wrong person stupid. This is my list, not Aram’s.

  • DRanch Man

    Fred, why no love for DRanch? Not even a mention of their 50-22 Win over DBar last night, who spanked your sweetheart Los Altos. Maybe I should quit reading the Bishop Amat Tribune. Fair and Balanced, fair and balanced.

  • Fred Robledo

    That was my mistake, I wasn’t around Saturday night and didn’t put the story on the blog. But we didn’t ignore it, Clay Fowler covered it for us.

  • Curious

    I know the blog isn’t a place for a lot of negativity, but if there was a Bottom 10 Coaches I think Asante and Gano would be battling for “top” billing.

  • reality

    Most of these coaches were at o ne time or another ripped by people on the blog. These trolls do not know how much time it takes to prepare a highschool team to play in the very sophisticated style they play now. Not to mention finding competent staff willing to help them with this effort. Kind of like building Noahs ark. Few workers, alot of ridiculers,then everyone ones wants a ride when its done. I say thanks to these guys as well as all high school coaches. some of the most under=appreciated people around.

  • Every year

    I think coach z. Started this year with a bonita upset, and has been rolling since except with the Monrovia game. He just flat out coaches teams with better talent. Who else has had a style of offense named after him. Also with be in a least the semi’s for four straight years.

  • Don

    Lou Farrar, Charter Oak Lou, Roger, and Dom deserve big props for getting it done at the level they should have been playing in years ago.

    Steve Hagerty, Bishop Amat Totally legit but frankly, the Lancers need a few major upsets, (starting with Crespi), to move on in the PAC-5.

    Adrian Medrano, Bonita I like Medrano too and surprise, the Bearcats may even win the Hacienda. If they do, much of the credit goes to Medina and the Podster.

    Randy Reams, Ayala Beating CH would be a massive upset. AHS was my early pick for #3 in the Sierra which would get them a first round with Vista Murrietta or Centennial or something else nice.

    Albert Sanchez, Gladstone Great start, swell career and all that stuff but we are still talking the Montview, right? (And that giant paper-mache gladiator on the sidelines is just plain scary.)

    Joel Sanchez, El Monte Much credit for getting it done at EM, but the Lions won’t beat anyone of note this year.

    Craig Snyder, Rowland Going 3-1 against the Mid-Valley in pre-season ought to tell you something. Tells me that Rowland should be in D XI.

    Albert Rodriguez, South Hills 4th place finish in the Sierra shouldn’t get you a COY.

    Jason Martin, Duarte Losses to Valley Christian and Montclair just don’t get it done.

    Jerry Lewallen, Glendora 3-3 is nice but Lewallen doesn’t belong on this short list any more than Glendora belongs in the Baseline.

  • Don

    My bad; probably should have added Coach Zernickow to the list in there with Reams and Medrano. One of the top 4 teams in the Mid-Valley in what some considered an off year.

  • Charter Oak Fan

    That Ayala coach is doing one helll of a job! I wpuld put him at number 2! Those Huskies better be ready because Ayala ain’t no joke

  • Breeezy

    Curious is right,lets keep it real,Greg Gayno is by far the leader of the bottom 10. That team is tremendously underachieving.The summer/preseason was talk of the weapons they have:Savage/Sherwoods/Boykin/Traylor and a QB to get them the rock. They lose handily to any decent teams and yet unless that team SHOCKS Charter Oak or Chino Hills,they aren’t making playoffs after all the preseason hype.

  • Fbfan

    Ok maybe not 1 and done but 2 and done. Give Coach Medrano (I mean Podina or Medley) the coy award! What a joke. That kid can’t handle pressure

  • Bohi Watcher

    Not sure how this season will pan out but if 3 straight losses to start your coaching career to teams you had beat ain’t pressure I don’t know what is. Glad your conceding a second year because if you look closely alot of Bonitas skill guys are coming back next season and I’m sure having Podley and Medina looking over your shoulder ain’t pressure either.

  • Chicken Bone

    Hagerty will Choke on the rest of the games this season. Amat will get their ass kicked by Alemany this Friday! Amat sucks!

  • TheRealAyalaBulldogFan

    Coach Reams gets a vote from me. In his second year as a head coach ever, what he’s doing with the Ayala Bulldogs is pretty remarkable.

    While sitting in the stands at eh Damien game, I overheard a few parents (I gather) talking and their boys had recieved letters from Colleges that were “interested in recruiting them”. I did not have any kids that played at that level to ever garner anyone’s attention so I don’t know where that rates, but I will say that I never once heard that while Inglima was coaching there. Maybe I got lucky and sat in the right place, who knows. But it seems like the program is off life support and getting healthier by the week. They have more kids in the program than they have in years.

    Keep up the good work Bulldogs and prepare well this week for the next game.

  • Cong ’76

    Fred, I understand this is a fun conversation to have, but as you pointed out last year, only a coach who leads his team to a semi-final birth or better are considered for COY. So, all the conversation in the world will be mute unless any of these teams reaches that lofty plateu…

  • Oh Freddie!!!! Where’s Marcel Perez on this list?

  • Cong ’76

    I mean moot…:)

  • Fred Robledo

    Conq 76, there’s also a good chance that none of our teams reach a CIF finals game. Then what? Each year, each circumstance is different.

    Chicken bone, if Amat sucks, what does that say about the rest of the San Gabriel Valley?

  • Cong ’76


    Have we had a year where none of our teams has reached at least a Semi-Final game?

  • Cong ’76

    Fred, that’s a fair point, have we had a season where no SGV team has at least reached a semi-final?

  • Fred Robledo

    Last year was 2007 when South Hills and Charter Oak both lost in the semifinals to El Dorado and Trabuco Hills. South Hills really blew it against Trabucuo, they drove for a game-winning touchdown in the final seconds and missed the extra point. The game went into overtime and they lost.

  • Conq ’76

    I apologize, what I was seeking was a year when no SGV team even made a Semi-final not a final. As I understood your argument last year was a SGV COY had to at the very least go to a semi-final game.

  • Fred Robledo

    Just so you know, a coach of the year doesn’t HAVE to go to at least a semifinal to be considered. It would be nice, but not required. Each year is different. This was in reference to Los Altos’ Ziola not getting the award last year, and I explained that I thought West Covina and how they finished the season was deserving of coach of the year honors for Maggiore. Even if Los Altos had advances to the semifinals, I’m not sure my opinion would have changed.

  • Conq ’76

    Fair enough Fred…

  • la mirada guy

    I know we are not in your area, but i think Mike Moschetti of La Mirada should be in consideration for coach of the year. He took over a medicore program and has turned its fortunes around. He and his coach’s work tirelessly to put kids at the next level. From contacting recruiters , making films and instructing the boys on what it takes to make it to the next level. Mike deserves a lot of recognition.