UPDATE: In honoring coach Sanchez, the school is inviting any past players, coaches or anyone that had a connection with Coach Sanchez to the Gladiators Football Banquet on Saturday, Dec. 1. Those interested should contact Gladstone High School 626-815-3604 for ticket information.
The worst-kept secret in the San Gabriel Valley is out, Gladstone coach Albert Sanchez will step away after 13-years in charge when the playoffs are over. After going 3-7 last year, Gladstone finished 9-1 and shared the Montview League title, Gladstone’s best finish since going 9-2 in 2005, which was Sanchez’s best season.
“The very first day on August 6 I expressed to the seniors that this was our senior year, that this was my last year,” Sanchez said. “I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. I’ve coached a lot of kids and now it’s time for me to focus on my own kids. I love everything about Gladstone and will stay here as a teacher, but it’s time to concentrate on other things.”
If Gladstone defeats visiting Mary Star of the Sea in the first-round of the Northwest Division playoffs on Friday at Baldwin Park (7 p.m), it will be the Gladiators first playoff win since 1977 and obviously Sanchez’s first playoff win as their coach. With a career record of 84-65 at the school, Sanchez never imagined his final season would be this rewarding. “It’s been a dream, I couldn’t of imagined the season coming together the way it did,” Sanchez said. “It’s been one great (memory) after another and hard to put into words because I get emotional thinking about it. But we’re not done, that’s the best part, we’ve got a playoff game on Friday that we want to win.”