New football coach for STHS |

New football coach for STHS

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

South Tahoe High has a new football coach.

Kevin Hennessee has accepted the Vikings’ football varsity head coaching position, which has been vacant since late May.

For the past three seasons, Hennessee has directed the Desert Hot Springs High School program near Palm Springs, Calif. Hennessee’s Golden Eagles were a playoff qualifier in 2007 and compete in the California Interscholastic Federation’s Southern Section.

“We’re getting exactly what we need,” said South Tahoe Athletic Director Don Borges.

The new STHS coach was unavailable for comment on Thursday night.

Hennessee was facing the prospect of losing his physical education teaching position at Desert Hot Springs because of extensive budget cuts in his Palm Springs Unified School District. Hennessee and 11 other teachers were not going to learn of their fate until Aug. 15.

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Borges said that the school was able to approve Hennessee’s hiring quicker than normal because of the proximity of the football season. He still needs to provide the district with some paperwork to make his hiring official.

“It’s not formal approval, but they realize the situation and that we have to get this guy involved with our community and our football program,” Borges said.

In addition to coaching the varsity football team, Hennessee will be a physical education instructor at the school.

Hennessee takes over a program that has struggled to bring back the winning tradition that was prevalent in the 1990s. South Tahoe last won the Northern 4A region title in 1991 and was a routine player in the postseason until 2004. Over the past four seasons, the Vikings have compiled a 5-33 record. South Tahoe avoided the Sierra Division basement last year by posting a 2-5 record.

Hennessee brought respect and accountability to the Desert Hot Springs program. Last year’s Golden Eagles’ quarterback Josh Cecena said in The Desert Sun that Hennessee cares more than how a player does on the football field.

“He takes care of me. He makes sure I do good in school,” Cecena told The Desert Sun. “I don’t know my father. I know coach Hennessee.

“It’s scary when a teacher says that I’m going to call coach Hennessee instead of your parents.”

Chris Morgan, who coached the Vikings for the past two seasons, resigned in May to take over the program at Pacific Grove near Monterey, Calif.

Borges said Hennessee will be introduced to members of the South Tahoe football team on Thursday, July 30.