It has been two months since Jim Fenwick resigned as football coach at Pierce College to accept an assistant coaching job at Cal State Northridge.
The position is still open, due in large part to the L.A. Community College District's indecision on the fate of part-time employees.
In the meantime, many Pierce players have jumped to other campuses. Steve Haddad, who shared the quarterbacking duties with Josh Davis on last season's 9-2 Southern California Conference championship team, and running back Robert Davis have both transferred to Moorpark. Running back Myron Jones has enrolled at Valley. Reportedly, several others have gone elsewhere.
Pierce administrators are starting to get antsy.
"It upsets me," said Richard Moyer, assistant dean of student services at the Woodland Hills college. "I pointed it out to Virginia Mulrooney that we're losing players and she said they'd have an answer for us within two weeks. That was last Thursday. Right now, we don't know where we stand. Our hands are really tied until we know what the district is going to do." Mulrooney is the district vice chancellor.
If the district goes ahead with its proposed layoffs of 142 full-time faculty members, 39 of which are to be PE instructors, Pierce would not be allowed to hire an off-campus coach for 39 months, Moyer said. District members are scheduled to meet next Tuesday at Cal State L.A. in an attempt to resolve the situation.
That leaves current full-time personnel from within the district to choose from.
A leading candidate to succeed Fenwick is Bob O'Connor, Pierce men's athletic director.
On Thursday, O'Connor confirmed that he is interested.
"I've coached for 30 years," he said. "It wasn't until two years ago that I stopped. I want to get back and coach."
O'Connor, however, said that he preferred high school coaching. "There are just so many ifs at the two-year level right now," he said. "In high school, you have four years to work with the kids."
O'Connor has coached and been an assistant at several levels. He was the football coach at Taft, Cathedral and Daniel Murphy high schools--Cathedral when it was a 4-A school. He was the defensive coordinator at L.A. City College and has worked as an assistant at Cal Lutheran University. Additionally, he was the coach of the South Bay All-Stars, a semi-pro team.
Said Moyer: "Bob has expressed to David Wolf and myself that he would be willing to coach football at Pierce. No one else on campus has." Wolf is the Pierce president.
When Stanford takes the field at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium today at 2:30 for the first of a three-game, Pacific 10 Southern Division series with the Bruins, there may be as many Cardinal fans in the bleachers as UCLA boosters.
Stanford has five Valley-area players on its roster.
Among them is All-American candidate Jack McDowell, who led Notre Dame High to the Del Rey League title in 1984.
McDowell, a sophomore, who will be the starting pitcher today, is 8-1 and has a 1.67 earned-run average. He has struck out 77 in 75 innings. It will be his second start this season against UCLA. He struck out eight and beat the Bruins, 4-2, on March 9 in Palo Alto.
Toi Cook, from Montclair Prep, is the Cardinal's starting right fielder. Cook, who also plays defensive back on the football team, is batting .277 and has stolen 15 bases in 17 attempts. He has one home run, a grand slam, last week at Arizona State.
Ugo Colella and Paul Marca, who both played with McDowell at Notre Dame, have not played much this season, but are expected to make the trip. Glenn Stevenson of Chatsworth High will also travel to Westwood.
Add Valley Grads: Tony Ciccone, who played baseball at Monroe High and College of the Canyons, is off to a good start at Sonoma State.
The junior outfielder is batting .344 and has 14 stolen bases in 15 tries. Ciccone, an All-City selection at Monroe, is playing second base and hitting leadoff. Despite his knack for getting on base and hitting for a little power--he has a .459 slugging percentage--Sonoma has struggled to 5-16 record and is in fifth place in the Northern California Athletic Conference.
Cal Lutheran University signed four more football players to national letters of intent this week, including two quarterbacks.
Chris Wise (6-3, 190-pounds), from Tinley Park High in Chicago, and Shane Hawkins, (6-1, 175-pounds), from El Camino High in Oceanside, are freshman quarterbacks who are expected to compete with sophomore Mike Sanders for second string behind junior starter Tom Bonds.
Greg Maw, a kicker from Ontario Christian High, and Fred Buchman, a junior defensive back from Walla Walla College in Washington, also signed.
Wise was an honorable mention high school All-American in 1984. He decided to sit out last year after not being pursued by a Division I school following his senior season. Hawkins, an option quarterback, was co-player of the year in the Avacado League.