STHS aiming to select next coach by Dec. 1
Following a season that began with a change in head coaches, South Tahoe High’s administration has re-opened the top varsity football post at the school.
Jack Stafford, the athletic administrator at STHS, is aiming to have the next Vikings’ coach in place by Dec. 1.
“I’m really looking for somebody for the long haul; that is how programs are successful,” Stafford said. “You need to have stability. Look at the boys’ soccer program and the cross country programs. You need that continuity.”
Interim coach Mike Gorman guided the Vikings to their first Sierra Division victory since 2004 after being promoted from defensive coordinator only weeks prior to the season opener when Nick Samaras resigned. The Vikings finished 1-8 but were competitive in nearly half of their games, including a 21-0 loss to playoff-bound Hug last Saturday.
“I thank Gorman for stepping up and helping out this season. (His staff) did an admirable job,” Stafford said.
Gorman, a longtime assistant in the Bay Area, became fond of being a first-time head coach. He definitely wants another shot at leading the Vikings into the future.
“I never wanted this, but I’m not saying that now that I have it that I don’t like it and I don’t want to do it,” Gorman said. “They promised me that this wouldn’t be dragged on until June or July.”
But Gorman could also be content returning to defensive coordinator.
“I like calling the defense,” he said.
Since STHS will start its search for a new head coach on campus, several candidates come to mind: Chris Morgan and Todd McIntyre.
Morgan, a history teacher for the past 11 years at STHS, may be the front-runner. He was the school’s co-head coach in 2002 and took over the Incline program in 2003 when STHS decided to hire McIntyre. Morgan led the Highlanders to a 5-5 record this fall and may not need much convincing to stop his time-consuming daily fall commutes to Incline Village.
McIntyre has spent most of the past two decades associated with the program as an assistant and served as the school’s head coach in 2003 and 2004. He coached the freshman team in 2005, but didn’t work with the program this fall.
Gorman said it is critical that the Vikings waste little time finding the weight room in the offseason.
“There needs to be accountability,” Gorman said. “Whether you like it or not, football is a year-round sport, just like every other sport is now.”
Stafford also would like to see the program’s numbers rise. The three programs dropped from 90 to nearly 70 players by season’s end, according to Stafford.
“We always fight a numbers issue. We need 30 strong at each level,” he said. “The freshman are the program. You have to get them into the program.”
Gorman is proud of the foundation he established this fall.
“I resurrected a JV program this year that they said couldn’t be done, I got the frosh program going and I got them battling hard to the last moment.”
Now the Vikings must keep the momentum going and hire a coach as soon as possible.
“I don’t know. A new coach comes in here and he may not like what I do. He may want his own staff.”
One thing I have going in is I already have a staff.
“They promised me that this wouldn’t be dragged on until June or July.
“From seeing them earlier in the year on film to just seeing them now, they are team that got better each week and each game. I think that is the trademark of a program going in the right direction. How many kid start year and finish year when losing.