A friend of mine who is an English teacher once told me, “If I ever was alone in a room with President Obama, I would be completely comfortable having a conversation with him.” I laughed because I knew exactly what he meant.
See, my friend is a sesquipedalian and can handle any vocabulary thrown his way.
Go ahead, look it up. I needed to. George, when you asked me the question “Why do you think Mountain View has not won”, I think back to what my friend said so confidently. What if the great Don Markham watched my game film? What flaws would he see in my play calling? What schemes would the SGV legend Mackinnon employ that I did not? I then started to analyze my 6 seasons as a head coach:
2012: (3-7) lots of talent, but I was learning on the go. I knew as much about coaching DW offense, 4-3 defense, and basic special teams as Trump knows about politics.
2013: (5-5, but the 2017 Romero goes 9-1) lots of talent again, but made bad calls in crucial game situations.
-(Pioneer) took the lead with 1:30 left. Decided to kick off deep. This is when I learned that you have to have your best players on special teams. Hence “special” “teams”.
-(Maranatha) driving the ball, down by 3 with 2 minutes. FUMBLE-ROOSKIES!!! Don’t call plays during a pressure 2 minute drill that you have not ran in a while.
-(Gabby) down by a score. Note to self. Teach speed option responsibilities in spring, summer, camp, and every week. Not just when you know you are going to see it.
-(Rosemead) lost in overtime to Rosemead. Don’t try to teach a DB to play bump-n-run in 3 days.
2014: (0-10 in my eyes) When life gives you lemons, take them with tequila cause it’s going to be a long season. Hardest working group of kids I have ever had though.
2015: (4-6, but could have been 7-3) lost to EM by 7, Gabby by 3, SEM by 1. Just like in baseball. 1 run losses are coaches losses.
2016: (3-7) lots of talent, 3200 rushing yards returning, MVL teams were down, and 1st year of CIF divisions (Division 13). This was the only time in my career I sold winning and a ring to my kids. I became that coach and hated it. Never again.
2017: (5-5, but could have been 8-2) Attention to details
-(Viewpoint) opened the season with a 1 point loss to Viewpoint (really lost by 8 but I choose not to count the Hail Mary returned for TD). I didn’t teach my kids that a blocked field goal behind the line of scrimmage is still live. We started celebrating and so did Viewpoint after they picked it up and ran it in for a TD. Never seen 22 football players celebrate on the field at the same time.
-(Rosemead) Took a 14-0 lead early in the game. Lost a close one. Can’t stop the run when they have 8 in the box and we only have 6.
-(El Monte) We knew from film that when #7 comes in, look for pitch pass. Saturday: practiced #7 pitch pass. Monday: practiced #7 pitch pass. Tuesday: practiced #7 pitch pass. Wednesday: practiced #7 pitch pass. Thursday: practiced #7 pitch pass. Friday comes and #7 comes in late in the game down by a score. We yelled out “#7 is in the game!!!”. DB bites on the run and #7 throws a TD. What did I learn? If the DB only speaks Spanish, you have to yell “siete!” Love that David. Sorry, I mean Daveed.
It is now 2:44am on a Thursday and I feel like Jerry McGuire writing a mission statement. “Not a memo, a mission statement. A night like this doesn’t come along very often. I seized it.” (Jerry McGuire). Back to answering your question. Why do I think Mountain View has not won? In my 6 year stint, the answer is clear….COACHING. 100% without a doubt. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of all the great work my coaches and I did to build the program, but when it came to “X’s and O’s” and getting our own athletes on campus to play football, we needed help. Believe me, we knew this from day one and it was our #1 focus throughout the years. We were just not as successful at it as we would have wanted to be.
I would assume the next question would be, “What does Mountain View need to win?” (This is of course taking recruiting off the table, where great talent will always triumph.) Mountain View already has in place great admin support, parental involvement, faculty and staff backup, and exceptional facilities. In my opinion, the winning formula is having a coach that has the charisma and energy of a James Wilson in order to get our athletes to play football and bring in great assistants. He also needs a great strength and conditioning program, such as Frank Alonzo had, to build these athletes into football players. A high percentage of our students have hardships that a lot of us didn’t have growing up. This new coach needs to be caring and empathetic towards his players and create a welcoming environment, such as Aaron Sepulveda did so well. Vision and organization are vital, which I feel my staff and I modeled well. Last but not least, you need a creative football mind that understands you cannot fight fire with fire, given our student demographics.
Needless to say, it will take a special coach to get Mountain View on the wining track. Will the new head coach, Paul Rodriguez, be that guy? Knowing him personally, I feel he has many of these innate qualities. He has my 100% support in whatever he needs and I wish the MVHS Viking Football Program and it’s new captain the best of luck.