STHS delays choosing new football coach
July 2, 2009
South Tahoe High has delayed the selection of its next varsity football coach due to a change in a teacher opening at the school.
If Don Borges, the school’s athletic director, gets his wish, the Vikings will have a rarity when it comes to their next football coach.
For one of the few times in the past decade, the school is trying to hire a coach who will also fulfill a teaching position at the school.
“It’s not too often that coaches and teaching positions in this era open at the same time. I’m very happy,” Borges said.
A committee at the school interviewed five candidates last month. Two of the candidates also applied for a social studies/history position at the school. But that teaching position was recently filled by former STHS football coach Todd McIntyre, who has taught physical education at the school over the past two decades.
Consequently, the school is now looking for a physical education teacher/football coach. Borges said candidates have until July 15 to apply for the two positions and a search committee will interview the applicants on July 21.
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“We’re trying to get the best coach available,” Borges said. “First off, they need to be strong PE teacher and then have a football background.”
Borges said the additional delay in choosing a coach could benefit the program in the long run.
“We’ve had seven coaches in nine years, so we’re looking to put somebody in there who is going to be there a while and is the best candidate,” Borges said.
South Tahoe has been without a varsity head coach since late May when two-year coach Chris Morgan handed in his resignation to accept the same post at Pacific Grove near Monterey, Calif.
Former STHS varsity coach Mike Gorman, the JV head coach the past two years, was among five candidates who applied for the vacancy.
“Mike is still part of the equation,” Borges said. “Mike has done an amazing job in the interim with no coach at South Tahoe. He’s been running the weight-lifting program and is making sure we have a camp July 17-19.”
The school hasn’t hired a teacher/coach since former softball coach Joann Allister earlier this decade. Allister’s husband, Derek, was also hired to teach and coach when he filled Tom Orlich’s basketball slot in 2000.
“I think the value of a coach and teacher on campus is one of the highest priorities that a school should or could take,” Borges said. “One of the reasons Morgan went to Pacific Grove was that their school district had bad experiences with off-campus coaches. Morgan was a good fit.”
At the end of the school year, Morgan was hopeful that the school would fill his position with a highly qualified coach.
“They are going to get someone here who is going to do a great job,” Morgan said. “I’ll do whatever I can to help out South Tahoe football. It’s still my program. As an alum, it will always be our program.”
The football program received some good news last week when Lake Tahoe Unified School District announced that a weight-training program for 11th- and 12th-graders will be added to the STHS physical education department.
South Tahoe opens football practice in the middle of August and kicks off its season against Dayton on Aug. 29 in South Lake Tahoe. The Vikings’ nonleague schedule also includes games against Hug and defending state champion McQueen.