Can you remember a time when there were so many Head Coaching changes at the varsity level? Or is it only because until now, this is the first time this information is being aggregated in one place?
Nine coaching changes have taken place this off-season in the 805 . Some have resigned and some have been dismissed. Whether you’re an alumnus, a fan for a specific school, or a coach, one thing we all have in common is we’re all wondering; Who’s going to lead our team, and if they are in place, where are they going to lead them to? Bandwagon or not, change at these 10 schools is inevitable and only time will tell if the hire was good or not.
Here’s a quick rundown of all of the varsity head coaching changes as we steam head first into spring ball:
Mike Hartman replaces Tom Goosen after a 10 year run. Hartman is no stranger to the Central Coast as he was the former Head Coach at St. Joseph’s (Santa Maria). He has served as an assistant to Goosen for the last 5 years and drew great praise from the recently retired Goosen. Any time a coach uses the term “I’m fired up”, its a great thing. Read more here
Ryan Bolland was hired in February following the dismissal of Tim Guiterrez. This guy is no dummy, Bolland is a 2004 graduate of Buena and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame. Although he’s never been a head coach, his coaching lineage connects to both the late, great Rick Scott and George Contreras. Former alumnus with a great coaching connections and a passion to make Buena a winner sounds like a winning situation to us We’re dying to know if he’ll pull in more Packers or Buccaneers. Read more here
AJ Pateras takes over as Head Coach for the Conquistadors replacing interim coach JJ Willis. Pateras is an alum of Ventura High and was the Defensive Coordinator this past season for the Cougars. Hopefully Coach Pateras can put some bite back in the program as they’ve only won 14 games in the last 5 seasons.
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Matt Dollar resigned after 10 years at the helm of the Fillmore program with a combined record of 60-48. While its one of the smallest towns in the 805 (pop. 15,255) the town supports two youth football programs and has both produced some of the best 805 football talent ever. The challenge in filling this position includes hiring someone that will keep Fillmore talent from going to play elsewhere while helping to mend their youth football community. If you build it, they will stay and Fillmore will win. So, we gotta ask, Is the Wing-T finally dead? We’ll have to wait and see if the school finally breaks ranks with some old school ties and starts looking forward toward building a solid football future. While Fillmore is small in population this school has far too much heart and way too much skill to be playing against schools like Santa Clara and Villanova.
Mission Prep has had some incredible runs in recent years under coach Chad Henry but the biggest issues for their football program may be the program itself as declining numbers have left the school wondering if they will in fact have a football program at all and if they do it may be headed toward 8-man. This stemming from Coach Henry himself. We don’t want to see any program struggle, not good at all. Read more here.
How do you fill the shoes of 805Football coaching legend Tim Lins? You don’t. Long time Moorpark Offensive Coordinator, Ryan Huisenga looks to build his own legacy and continue to build on top of the foundation that Lins has laid. A former QB for Moorpark High and Cal Lutheran, Huisenga doesn’t need to right a ship like other programs on this list he merely needs to keep it going in the same direction while plotting his own course. Competition will be fierce but most of Lins staff will be returning which is a huge plus for the first year Head Coach. Read more here
Former NFL Linebacker, Larry Grant replaces Rick Schimke as head coach of the Bearcats. Everyone from the school board to the principal is excited to have Coach Grant take over. The man’s references include Jim Tressel and Mike Singletary. Jim Tressel. Mike Singletary. Note to Coach Grant, leave the Log Cabin at home. Did we mention Singletary? Read more here.
Ryan Taggart stepped down after 6 years as head coach of the Pioneers. He has since joined the Moorpark College staff as a TE coach. The hunt is officially on for a new coach for Simi Valley. Athletic Director, Joelle Cardona said, “Our ultimate goal is to hire a head coach dedicated to our program, school, and community.” The Pioneers need a good hire to start getting the program back on its feet as they’ve only had 2 winning seasons in the last 14.
Simi Valley has found their man. Dameon Porter who lead Leuzinger High School to a Pioneer Valley Championship in 2016, is the new head football coach at Simi Valley.
“A cat always lands on it’s feet.” Mee-owww Tony Henney! Henney left a not so happy Westlake program and landed at St. Bonaventure replacing Adam Guerra who left the program to coach at St. Patrick High School (Chicago). While Guerra’s run was average by St. Bonavanture standards, he faced perennial powers Mater Dei, Long Beach Poly, and Corona Centennial. Henney takes over a program that has dominated area schools in the last 20 years but has struggled in the powerful Pac-5 Division. Henney has proven himself has a respected coach in the 805 leading Nordhoff and Trabuco Hills to CIF titles. We expect Coach Henney and the Seraphs to hit the re-org button and settle right in heading into 2017. As for 2018 and beyond, we’ll have to see how this school fares with regard to league realignment. Read more here.
Tony Henney getting fired provided Tim Kirksey his shot at a dream job of becoming the head coach at the very school that made him an MVP quarterback. A successful assistant coach for 16 seasons Kirksey landed whats seems to be a perfect fit and a perfect situation. However, It’s going to take a unique individual to work through this era of Westlake Football. Mentor and friend aside, Jim Benkert and Oaks Christian sit just a stones throw away, Which means that Kirksey and Benkert will battle for top talent in the Conejo Valley and you can add in the Clausens (Calabasas) into this mix as well. There is however a silver lining. If league re-alignment moves Oaks and St. Bonaventure out then its going to be game on for the Westlake Warriors. Read more here.