High School Football: St. Paul names Rick Zepeda as new coach

By Eric Terrazas, SGVN

St. Paul High School named Rick Zepeda as its new football coach, according to school officials.

Zepeda will take over a Swordsmen team that went 1-9 overall and 0-5 in the Mission League last season.

The Swordsmen, who were ranked No. 1 in the Daily News preseason poll, had gone into 2012 with high expectations. But they struggled through a dismal year that resulted in the firing of head coach Elijah Asante during the season.

Casey Morales, the school’s athletic director, took over the head coaching duties and finished the season.

Zepeda, who graduated from St. Paul in 1988, previously served as head coach at El Rancho for four years (2008-11) before working as the defensive coordinator at St. John Bosco last season.

Read more:  High School Football: St. Paul names Rick Zepeda as new coach

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  • BraveBoys

    You better check your sources. Chris King was the DC at Bosco and has been since Negro got here. Zepada is listed as DB coach.

  • Swordman

    They went from hiring a guy that had been to the CIF finals back to back and now got a guy who was 18-24 at ER??? Clearly Admin doesn’t care about the program. If I was a player there I’d leave now.

  • Who’s House?

    Swordmen & BraveBoys @You both are 100% correct.

    This is clearly a St. Paul guy!!! Many may say this is a ”GREAT
    HIRE” but they tend to forget that he was mediocre at best at El Rancho. Hiring
    a coach based on knowing the program instead of the best qualified is clearly
    not the best route. I hope the school is going to be patient with coach Zepeda.
    They sure are going to need it..

    • Tired St Paul Fan

      I agree 100%. Very well said..

  • Pit Thetic

    Here we go again,hate to say but St Paul is in trouble with this hire.

  • Julio

    St Paul has really missed with this one 18 -24 record at El Rancho …..and the talent pool at St Paul Big Trouble,I hear a few kids are leaving as of this week,What parent is going to pay all that tuition and all those costs to play Football at St Paul,BAD BUISNESS !!

  • PR DON

    Congrats to Coach Zepeda! As a player at El Rancho our record was not indicative of the respect we as players have for this man. He will do a great job at St. Paul and we are behind him 100%. Best wishes from your Don and Pico Rivera family.

  • Class of 84

    Great selection, a real Swordsmen. The alumni are 100% behind the choice and so is Coach Ancich which makes this a terrific choice. Combine this with the new stadium/sports complex they are building at SPHS and things will turn around. The Riordan and Shea Foundations already committed $2,000,000 to the school.

    • Who’s House?

      Times do change. The alumni needs to get over themselves and allow this program to move forward.

  • Billy

    GREAT HIRE ! Zapeda is true Swordsmen ,but the underlying problem is how do you compete for talent in a area that is finally coming around in H.School Football ,I really doubt a parent is goin to fork out 600-900 Dollars a month(football fees ,books,ETC.) for a program that may take 5 years to get back,La Serna,LM,Santa Fe,La Habra,and Pioneer has a new Multi Million dollar sports Compex Football & Baseball as does Cal Hi.
    I serously think St Paul enrollment of boys ,and the fact that as it stands kids are transferring as we speak,I hear 2 of the last Athaletes will be gone at semester break or after,it just dosent make much sense in this enviroment to spend the tuition.

  • DonJuan

    I know for a fact that 2 players left SP and already enrolled at ER this last week. I also have heard that LS has picked up a few kids too. Not a good sign for the SP program. Glad he has alum support he is going to need it if he keeps up his 5-5 average. But I guess that is an improvement over the 1-9 last year. Sad, that such a proud program is now scrapping the barrel for coaches.

  • pirate 7

    First of all, since St.Paul is limited in size,speed and numbers, it would benefit both SP and it’s Pac 5 opponents to drop their following season games. Who cares what alumni and blow hearts think. They aren’t the ones having to go up against better talented and equipped players. There isn’t much talent left and if the school expects to remain open, in the next few years they will need to increase enrollment to over 1000 students. At this point they are competing with Cantwell, Check Cal Preps for enrollment.

  • H.S. Football fan

    My goodness all this talk about S.P. football as if they were relevent or close to the powerhouse they once were many many years ago. They don’t have the talent level to compete with local area teams not to mention Pac 5 teams. Small and slow hispanic players who have tons of heart but are lacking the size and raw talent to compete the way the blinded S.P. alumni feel they should need to come to grips with who they are. You need talent to compete, talent is what gets you into a ball game and then coaching takes over from there. The Assanti hire and all the players he pulled in was a joke. Zepada isn’t the savior either but the A.D. hired him because he feels he can at least controll him. This program has taken a hit they will not recover from for three seasons if not more! If your son wants to play for a well coached team that has the talent to play for league championships send him to La Serna or La Mirada! If you want your son to be the big fish in a small losing program that is beaten down week after week send him to S.P.
    P.S. The personyou can all blame for this is that relic Ancich. His ground and pound style of football refusing to throw the ball all those years is the reason most players with any real talent have stayed away from coming to S.P.! They didn’t want to play in that Pop Warner Mighty Might type offensive scheme. Way to go S.P. keep your head in the sand!

    • Whittier Area Fan

      A year ago this blog and others blew up talking about who was and who got hired. This year the lack of responses shows you how irrelevant SP football has become. Stick a fork in them they are done!

      • Cream of sum young guy!!!!

        Last year you didn’t have to register to post, hence none of the blogs getting any good hits!!!!!

  • Tired St Paul Fan

    Been around SP football for 40 years. It is a shame, what has happened to this this once storied program. Unfortunately the program and coaches never adapted with the times. I keep here it’s a great hire, because Zepeda is an SP alumni. I could see that and or say that if Zepeda was coming in with a proven track record. But seriously he coached at “THE RANCH” and was not very successful over all. He was not the Defensive Coordinator at BOSCO. He was the DB coach! WOW now that is impressive. I can understand alumni wants alumni. Just like BOSCO did with NEGRO. Who had a proven track record at TRABUCO. Who built a dominant public school program during his tenure. Who can recruit and raise money for his program. Which he raised over 300,000.00 on his own this season. SP blew the hire by passing over CHUCK WILLIG. Who was a legend at SP years ago! Who comes from a football background who has two brothers who played in the NFL and are on his coaching staff. Who could interest better talent to come. Who could help raise money for the program. Our facilities are a joke. Our program is a joke. Who wants to come play at SP when a coach isn’t going to help get you the D1 exposure you need to make it to the big show. It is sad to see what is going on at SP. Zepeda hire BLOWS!!!! Asante wasnt a great hire for the program but he did get talent to come. He should of gotten a fair chance, which he didn’t! He did show by how he handled the situation. That he was a class act.. Maybe had Telles’s parents, not cried so much cuz their boy, who sucked for three years got bench. The uproar wouldn’t of happened and the season may have been a lil different. Not much just a little..

    • SwordSwallower

      WILLIG??? Are you crazy?!?!?! That would have been a worse hire. That guy is delusional about his coaching abilities. You must enjoy the Kool Aid he is serving. With that much GREATNESS on his staff why didn’t make a bigger splash at Pioneer? 2-8? The Catholic schools have this ridiculous notion that they have to hire an Alum. Hire a good coach and the players will come. Not Asante, Not Willig and Not Zepada. How about the OC from Bosco instead of the DB coach?

  • Whittier Area Football Fan

    You myopic SP fans just don’t get it. It is over at SP and this hire is not going to help. It is going to be more of the same. Why would anyone pay to go to SP when they can stay at their home schools (La Serna, La Habra, La Mirada, Santa Fe, et. al.) and have a chance to play on a winning team that sends kids to play college ball? And if you are a true blue chipper your kid will get a free ride at SJB, Mater Dei or even Servite. Pretty soon the Swordsmen will be playing for last place in the Del Rey with the likes of Cantwell and Bosco Tech.

  • Odd Front

    The best guy for the St Paul job has been teaching Math at St Paul for several years. He got stepped over last year and again he gets stepped over again. Its too bad that two females who know nothing about football are making the decisions for the future of St Paul football. Avina Should have been hired. Oh well, St Paul will probably become another Pius X high school (girl’s school) or perhaps it may get permanently closed. They brought it upon themselves.

  • Canteflas

    Tired St Paul Fan

    Couldnt agree with you more about Willig,however St Paul has more problems than they can fix anytime soon,I think the word around town is that they will try to block the last African Americans Transfering out ,the word is these kids are already in line at other schools and most of these kids they want to block and come back are the very kids that were ridiculed for not sticking with tradition so on and so on,the parents or guardians of these kids WILL NOT COME BACK FOR NOTHING !

  • pirate 7

    SP is the only school in recent years that has won a CIF title. Another has been La Habra with multiple titles. With less than 300 boys… they belong in a lower division with Paraclete,Damien,Salesian, Bishop Montgomery and Cathedral.
    Serra and Chaminade are loaded with talent and will need to move to the Serra.

  • prep fan

    Odd Front: well said! One is a weak leader and the other is in her ear opposing the Avina hire. Once again, the parents just sit back and do nothing.

  • JesusChristX

    What an underwhelming hire. Maybe the Lakers should hire Kurt Rambis as coach since he was a Laker and awful at Minnesota.

    I long for the days when St. Paul cared about Football.

  • wtf

    Good Luck SP


    It’s disheartening to see how football programs run schools nowadays. The most important aspect of any school SHOULD be education, but sadly, it isn’t.

    Rick may not be the “best” coach out there, but he is a man full of character, I wish him well this season.

    Plus, if he’s successful, I’d love to see the cross-town rivalry between St. Paul and St. John Bosco resurrected.