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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL / THE NEW SEASON : Young Coaches : Youthful Mentors Who Defy Stereotypes Move Into Key Sideline Jobs in Long Beach/Southeast Area Prep Programs

September 12, 1985|PAUL McLEOD | Times Staff Writer

In a publication called "Ol' Coach on the Banquet Circuit," the ol' coach is portrayed as a graying, flabby, sunburned and snake-bitten cuss with a penchant for dirty sweat shirts and a pocket full of Rolaids.

But that scenario doesn't fit most ofthe nine new high school football head coaches in the Long Beach/Southeast area, many of whom are barely a generation ahead of the players they'll be directing.

In the last two years there have been 15 coaching changes in the area and the youth movement is on.

- Rookie St. Anthony Coach Ken Sharrar is 23 years old.

- John Ono steps up from an assistant job to take over Jordan at 27.

- Richard Ready, 28, a former Miami University of Ohio assistant, has been hired to rebuild once-powerful St. Paul.

- Brethren's Mike Fitch and Cantwell's Doug South are 29.

In fact, all but two of the nine newcomers at established schools are 35 or younger.

Poly and Millikan

Other Moore League coaching changes include the appointments of Jerry Jaso and Thomas Whiting as co-coaches to replace Jim Barnett at Poly, and former Jordan Head Coach Dave Radford as a replacement for longtime Millikan Coach Dick DeHaven.

Area hirings include Gary Stempson to relace Brad Elrod at Downey, Cerritos College assistant Steve Hill at Warren for Randy Drake, assistant Vince LaRosa at Artesia for Bill Montgomery, Long Beach City College assistant John Hennigan at California for Bob Lancaster and James Emery at Centennial for O. M. Nichols.

In addition, two coaches new to tackle football are opening programs for the first time. Greg Page takes over as athletic director and eight-man football coach at Leffingwell Christian and Ted Drinkwater, 26, will guide the eight-man team at Pioneer Baptist.

Age 'Just a Number'

The deans of the new crew, both age 47, are Millikan's Radford and former Compton High assistant James Emery, who starts his first head coaching job.

"Age is just a number," Emery said. "I imagine there's not enough older guys like me still around in the system."

A former part-time assistant at Cal State Long Beach, Sharrar, who is the area's youngest head coach, received his appointment at St. Anthony Aug. 7. He replaces Dan Dodd, who left for a new position at a Kansas junior college. Sharrar inherits a team that hasn't finished above .500 since 1979.

"It happened a lot sooner than I thought," he said about his first head coaching job. "It may be appropriate at this point because people (opponents) don't know me. It's a great opportunity at a young age. There are a lot of lessons to be learned at a young age. It excites me."

Ready has one of the biggest challenges, and there is big pressure to win at St. Paul. The Catholic school has one of the strongest, most vocal followings in the area and, after 15 consecutive playoff appearances, the school has had two seasons without a winning record.

"My goal is to be the best football coach I can be," he said. "This (football) is fun. I love to do it. There are some roadblocks, but I wanted a challenging position and I got it." SOUTHEAST/LONG BEACH HIGH SCHOOLS WITH FOOTBALL HEAD COACHING VACANCIES IN THE1984-85 SEASON

School Resigned Replacement St. Paul Jim Walker Ohio native Richard Ready Poly Jim Barnett Appointed co-coaches: Defensive coordinator Jerry Jaso Offensive line Coach Thomas Whiting Downey Brad Elrod Assistant Gary Stempson Jordan Jay Hagey Assistant Michael Ono Millikan Dick DeHaven Former Jordan head Dave Radford Warren Randy Drake Cerritos JC assistant Steve Hill Artesia Bill Montgomery Def. Coordinator Vince La Rosa St. Anthony Dan Dodd Cal State LB Assistant Ken Sharrar California Bob Lancaster LBCC assistant John Hennigan Cantwell Walt Ransom Whittier native Doug South Brethren Steve Brinkley Mike Fitch Centennial O.M. Nichols James Emery

Source --High school principals, staff reports.

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