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BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
When David Coldiron found out Monday he was the new head football coach at Mira Monte, he quickly realized something else: There was a lot of work to be done.
"It was exciting to hear the news, but I don't have too much time to stand up and jump or yell from the top of the hills," Coldiron said. "We've got to start running."
Coldiron, 51, will be running into a somewhat familiar situation. Mira Monte went 0-10 last season and is 8-33 since entering the South Yosemite League four years ago. But the new coach knows something about helping moribund programs; he coached one, Ashland (Ore.) High, where the football team was nearly disbanded because of lack of participation, and another, Porterville-Granite Hills, where he led the Grizzlies to two of the three playoff appearances in school history.
"I think this is the job I've been training myself for," Coldiron said. "All of the jobs I've had are similar in that they're programs that need some turning around."
However, Coldiron said there are some major differences between Mira Monte and his previous stops. One is that the school, which opened in 2007, is still growing; another is that the administration, led by principal Jaime Quinonez, is willing to fully support the football program.
"Other schools I was at were declining in students, so that's a major difference," Coldiron said. "But probably the biggest difference is that you have an administration and a principal in Mr. Quinonez who believes in the school and the kids and knows you have to support a coach to help them get success."
At Granite Hills, where Coldiron has spent the last 10 years, he was 9-33 as a coach in four seasons between 2009-2012. In those four seasons, he said, the school had four different principals and five different assistant principals (in two positions).
"I just want some real stability that wants to support the coach," Coldiron said. "I see a school on the rise."
As for football, Coldiron said he hopes Mira Monte will immediately compete in a newly formed league with Foothill, Highland, North and South, all schools that have also changed coaches in the past 14 months.
He said his specific offensive and defensive schemes would depend on personnel, but Coldiron expressed a desire to be aggressive through the air on offense and active on defense.
"I've always been a coach whose teams have been able to throw the ball," he said. "That's one of the skillsets I want to bring to Mira Monte. Looking at the past, they haven't been highly successful throwing, always a completion percentage less than 50 percent. That's one thing. The other thing I'm really excited about from the film is how hard these kids play on defense. They really run to the ball, and you can't coach that want-to."
Coldiron, who will finish the school year in Porterville, hasn't met his new players yet, and he is still formulating a staff. But work on his newest reclamation project has already begun.
"I'm ready to get a sense of the kids and who they are and what they can do," he said. "I've started calling (coaches) already. I'm getting started today."