By Aram Tolegian
The long wait for the Los Altos High School football team to get its new head coach appears almost over.
Conquerors athletic director Andrew Formano said Tuesday the school has its man, but is just waiting for him to get cleared through human resources. The announcement could come any day.
“We’re waiting on his finger prints to clear, which should be any day now, and once that happens, we’ll announce to the kids and parents and be ready to move forward,” Formano said. “We’ve got our guy and we’re just waiting for clearance.”
Formano said the new head coach likely won’t be an on-campus coach, but does have head coach experience. Los Altos had roughly 25 applicants looking to take over for Dale Ziola, who resigned in December after a wildly successful run that saw him take one of the Valley’s most storied football programs off life support and make it viable again.
Los Altos reached two CIF championship games under Ziola, including last year’s CIF Southern Section Division 6 final. The Conquerors lost to Paraclete, but finished the season at 13-1.
The Conquerors are just about on time in the traditional sense. Spring practice is set to begin in May and summers are now full of workouts and passing competitions. Not having a head coach much longer could put Los Altos behind other programs.
One reason the process may have taken so long is that the school underwent a changing of the guard at principal during the school year, with Cheli McReynolds leaving and former assistant Jeff Hess taking over.
“That slowed the process a little bit, because attention was kind of diverted to other things on campus,” Formano said. “We would have like to have gotten this done earlier, but circumstance were what they were.”
HELP STILL WANTED
In addition to Los Altos, two other solid football schools are also without a head coach.
Rosemead just recently got into the market with the resignation of Marc Paramo last month. Paramo had been there five seasons and was a longtime assistant to previous head coach Matt Koffler.
El Monte is back in the market after just one season off. The Lions and Eric MacIntyre parted ways after just one season. Prior to that, alum Joel Sanchez headed the program for several years.
El Monte had its eyes on Arroyo assistant Josh Knight, who reportedly turned down the job late in the process.