McIntyre’s devotion leads him to top
Fourteen seasons without a break. Todd McIntyre has been the coach who has been most devoted to the South Tahoe High School football team since 1989.
However, not once during that span has McIntyre been the varsity head coach. But that void on McIntyre’s high school coaching resume disappeared on Tuesday night as the Lake Tahoe Unified School District Board unanimously approved the hiring of the Humboldt State University graduate as varsity head coach.
The 44-year-old McIntyre takes over a program that has hit rock bottom and is suffering through one of the worst periods in school history. Despite some talented individuals the Vikings have experienced back-to-back 0-9 seasons.
“I think the program has hope. It’s not a dead-end deal because of what the junior varsity did,” McIntyre said. “And I really do believe that these seniors can play, and that’s what I’m concentrating on. I’ve told them not to worry about the past, lead this team and have a successful senior year.”
McIntyre guided the Vikings’ junior varsity to six victories last fall — one of the team’s most successful seasons in years. Unknowingly, the junior varsity players generated one more victory than necessary to make McIntyre take the next coaching step in his highly successful career at STHS.
“If we pulled off five victories, I said I would apply for the varsity job,” McIntyre said. “I really like the kids and with the staff that we could put together, I think we can rally them and we could win some games.”
Chris Morgan and Rod Robison were appointed interim co-varsity coaches a day before practice started last August, following Eric Beavers’ controversial resignation. Morgan and McIntyre were the only coaches interviewed by a eight-member committee in December.
“He’s the best candidate,” Beavers said last month. “When I originally interviewed for the job if Todd had wanted it, I never would have interviewed for it. He’s earned it and I think he’s better suited to bring the thing together than I am.”
McIntyre brought the one-back spread offense to the Vikings during the 1990s, giving the team a more explosive attack than the old Wing-T scheme used in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This scheme allowed McIntyre to take advantage of athletically gifted players who have come through the program such as Bret Uppendahl, Jarred Uppendahl, Tim Sprinkles, Jake Hurwitz, Robert Arana and Immanuel Williams.
The wide-open attack should return next season, with sophomore Mikey Van Gorden at the controls.
“Van Gorden has the potential to be a really good quarterback … to be a better player than them all,” McIntyre said. “He can not only throw, he can run. He’s a threat to go (the distance) every time.”
McIntyre has also demonstrated an ability to coach on the other side of ball. He was the defensive coordinator when the Vikings won the Northern Nevada 4A zone championship in 1991 when STHS lost to Eldorado in the state championship.
“He’s been up there longer than any other coach that’s up there, and he deserves it,” said former STHS football coach Tim Jaureguito, who worked with McIntyre for a decade. “He was a great assistant, and I can’t say enough about him.
“He’s finally realized it’s time to take over and run that program, and I think he’ll do a great job. Parents and the community can appreciate his (hiring) because they are familiar with him and they know what to expect from him.”
In addition to spending 14 seasons — 12 at the varsity level — with the Vikings, McIntyre was Cal State Northridge’s receivers coach in 1985-86 and an assistant for Pasadena Blair and Muir high schools from 1982-85.
McIntyre played wide receiver for the Humboldt State in 1980-81, the latter season being the last time the Jacks beat rival UC Davis.
With spring drills just around the corner, McIntyre has already started assembling a coaching staff. Beavers has accepted the defensive coordinator position and Mike Patterson will coach the defensive line. Tony Barchetti and Steve Newell will assist the program in unspecified coaching positions.
“I’m optimistic,” McIntyre said. “These kids are good enough to win football games. These guys have put in a lot of time and they’ve been through quite a lot and for the most part they’ve hung in there. If they give us a chance, we’ll be OK.”
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