Q: How are you and you’re coaching staff coping with the current pandemic?
A: We have been in communication with our team and each other, just trying to stay positive, safe and healthy and make sure the guys are ok first of all. Some of the families are going through a really rough time right now and being available for the guys is the main thing. I checked in on all 125 players every week or two since this started. I gave them a packet the week before school shut down with some workouts to do if they had or didn’t have access to weights. Some of the guys have been creative and most have been doing something. The longer it goes on, the more difficult it gets. The past couple of weeks we have started some meetings online and they are going well. We will continue that until we are able to start. It is obviously less than the ideal way to get ready for a season but we are all going through the same thing and we just need to be as positive as possible. Our staff is starting to meet a little more with things getting closer (we hope) to starting. Being creative and flexible is going to be more necessary than ever in coaching all sports this year.
Q: What position or positions did you play at Edgewood High School?
A: At Edgewood High School, I played tight end and defensive end in my first two years and then offensive and defensive line my last two varsity seasons.
Q: After high school you went on to play at Oregon State. What were the deciding factors for you in choosing Oregon State.
A: I chose Oregon State for two main reasons. I really liked my position coach that recruited me at the time and I was able play somewhat close to home. A week or two after I got there my position coach left to another school. My first glimpse at the business part of college football.
Q: After Oregon State did you have aspirations for the NFL?
A: Yes, I did have aspirations to play in the NFL at the time and was in contact with a couple of teams. When I wasn’t drafted, I decided to move on with things.
Q: When did you decide you wanted to be a high school football coach?
A: After college, I went into personal training and the fitness industry. I Ran into my youth swimming coach, Bob Mount, who was the head football coach at West Covina at the time and he asked me to come to spring football to help coach. I started in the spring of 1992 and fell in love with the feeling of helping players on and off the field. Helping them be the best versions of themselves was really fulfilling to me. I also am very competitive and it was a great outlet for that part of me as well. I Went to school to get my teaching credential immediately. Before that, I had not really thought much about coaching.
Q: What was your first coaching job?
A: My first coaching job was in 1992 at WCHS.
Q: When you stepped down as the HC at West Covina in 2017 did you feel that you would eventually return? If so what was the main factor in returning?
A: When I stepped down I believed there was zero chance of returning. I would have bet a lot of money on it. The main factors that went into me coming back was coaching the freshmen the past couple years was a lot of fun. The interactions with the players and relationships that you are able to share is something that I realized that I missed. Coaching my son on the freshmen level was really good for both of us. I realized that I can do it without it having a negative effect on him. I’ve been a coach longer than a dad, when I’m out there everyone is equal and that’s what he wants and what I want for him.
Q: What coach had the biggest influence on you and why?
A: Biggest influence on me is really impossible to say. I do know that coaches and teachers that have taught and inspired me are the ones who don’t need to cuss and yell or scare you but the ones you know they care about the people on the team. Hank Moore and Ray Rodi are my two high school coaches that really got me to start believing in myself as a football player. Dave Tipton was an excellent teacher of defensive line and the technical aspects of playing the position and Brady Hoke had a way to bring out toughness in his players. I think as a coach, you take a little bit of a lot of models and you form your own way.
Q: West Covina is coming off a couple of rough years. What will it take to get the Bulldogs back on the winning track?
A: The players in the program need to continue to work hard and have confidence in the process and a clear vision of what they want and how to get there. I have always believed in toughness, uncommon work-ethic and playing for each other.
Q: In your opinion will there be a season this year? If so what will it look like? Will it be abbreviated?
A: It is really hard to say what the season will look like and when. I do think we will play football this school year. I am not sure when. I would love to be able to play a full season at the normal time but I’m not sure that’s going to happen. This is a crazy situation and there is nothing to compare it to. It seems like it changes every week. Like everyone else, I am really anxious to get started.
Q: Who are the top 5 players that you have coached?
A: The top 5 players that I have coached is another difficult one.
Josh Miller DL (Washington). Josh was mean, aggressive, physical and athletic. Could dominate games from the interior of the defensive line. Was like a man playing against boys.
Kanan Sanchez OL (Oregon State). started his frosh year at Oregon State. Powerful (400 bench) aggressive and nasty on the field. Would take pleasure in dominating guys and had the tools to do it.
Walter Thurmond WR/DB (Oregon). Could do everything on the field. Could have played 9 spots on a high school defense. Electric with the ball. Loved contact and super competitive. Had 19 tackles in a game against a double wing team in playoffs.
George Johnson QB/LB/DB. Just a winner. Not as big or athletic as some others on this list but could do everything on the field. When we needed 5 yards, he would find a way! Never backed down.
Chris Solomon RB/S (Nevada) Very productive. 2000 yards his junior year and 1600 his senior year. Averaged over 10 a carry. Would block like a guard, Didn’t complain having to share ball. Good on defense at linebacker or safety.
Dorrin Turner and Maurice Dupleasis (LB) I put these guys together. Back to back all CIF linebackers. over 150 tackles and all over the field. Makes coaching defense easy when you have guys like this.
Sidney Jones WR/CB (Washington) Very athletic with great hands. Could have played receiver in college as well as corner. One of the top college corners in country his last two years. More physical than people think.