Viking coaching fraternity jolted by death of Ken Hood
By Steve Yingling
Tribune sports editor
On the surface, much of the credit for South Tahoe High’s football success in the 1990s went to head coach Tim Jaureguito.
As is the case with many flourishing programs, there are assistant coaches who receive very little fanfare or recognition for their hard work and dedication.
Ken Hood was that man for the South Tahoe High football team starting in the late 1980s. Hood’s main responsibility with the program was to film upcoming opponents so Jaureguito and his offensive and defensive coordinators could prepare a game plan for opponents.
But he was many other things to the program.
“You could ask him to do anything. He was never going to turn you down,” said Jaureguito on Monday as he recalled his late friend.
Hood, 54, unexpectedly died on March 18.
In addition to his filming duties, Hood groomed some of the school’s best kickers, including Matt Bobman and Carlos Romero.
“The things he didn’t know about kicking, he went and learned it at camps and clinics,” Jaureguito said. “He did anything he could to help the program get better.”
During Jaureguito’s 13 seasons as the Vikings’ head coach – and Hood as a volunteer assistant – South Tahoe compiled a 68-57 record. The program reached the postseason eight times during that span, with the pinnacle being the 1991 squad that captured the Northern 3A Regional Championship and played in the Nevada state championship.
Current STHS offensive coordinator Todd McIntyre, often Hood’s sidekick on their weekend scouting trips to neighboring towns, recalled the time his buddy was chased by a horse near Minden. One of the coaches’ hats had flown out a window into a pasture, and Hood volunteered to retrieve it. A horse didn’t take kindly to the stranger, chasing Hood around the pasture.
“The horse thinks he’s a carrot,” one of the coaches kidded Hood before he safely returned to the car.
“He was a great guy, great for our program,” McIntyre said. “He didn’t get the recognition he deserved, and he didn’t want it. He just wanted to help out. We all liked him and respected him and enjoyed having him around.”
Hood also was active with the football team’s Quarterback Club, the Booster Club and fundraising. His devotion to fundraising was a major asset as he was often in charge of finding local businesses to advertise on the annual Viking football schedule poster.
“He was more than willing to give his time to help the kids in the community,” said current STHS football coach Chris Morgan, who also assisted Jaureguito in the 1990s. “Like a lot of people, I was very sad to hear the news. You don’t get over the shock.”
Morgan said that his 2008 STHS football team will pay tribute to Hood by including a black emblem on their helmets. The emblem will likely include his nickname “Spike.”
“He had all kinds of nicknames,” Morgan said. “We used to call him Lou Holtz, because he looked like him. I think we convinced somebody one night that he was Lou Holtz.”
After several years away from the team, Hood came back last fall to help out a perplexed Morgan. Morgan was experiencing some technical problems with the video equipment and asked for Hood’s assistance.
“The next day he had downloaded the (troubleshooting) instructions off Internet, put them in a three-ring binder and brought them in and said, ‘Let’s figure it out,’ ” Morgan recalled.
“He’s not somebody you replace.”