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BETWEEN THE LINES | HIGH SCHOOLS

There's Veterans and Rookies: Call Them All Coach

September 10, 1997

When it comes to football, the region doesn't lack for coaching deans--or coaching openings.

Several head coaches have surpassed 15 years of service at their schools, with the Golden League far and away the more seasoned with Quartz Hill's John Albee (30 years) and Antelope Valley's Brent Newcomb (20 years) at the top of the class. Collectively, the six-team league has more than 100 years of coaching experience.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are 11 coaches beginning their first seasons.

Here's a look at some coaching veterans and this year's rookie class:

VETERANS

Joel Schaefer, Reseda (20th season): The region's dean of coaches outside the Antelope Valley has a career record of 125-73-5 and has had only one assistant--Mike Stone--the entire time. Together they have 59 years of coaching experience. The Regents won the City Section 2-A Division title in 1987 and the 3-A title in 1995.

Myron Gibford, Chatsworth (19th season): In 1979, Gibford's first season, he guided the Chancellors to 12-0 record and the City 3-A title. Chatsworth also made 3-A championship-game appearances in 1985 and 1991. He has announced this will be his last season.

Mike Plaisance, Village Christian (18th season): Plaisance has a record of 157-77-2 with the Crusaders, and was 43-13 at San Fernando Valley Christian. His teams have reached the Southern Section playoffs 15 times, advancing to the semifinals in 1990, 1991 and 1996.

Larry Edwards, Calabasas (18th season): The jovial Coyote leader has a record of 84-96-4. Calabasas won the Frontier League title in 1986 and finished second in four of the past five seasons. The program hit a low seven years ago when there were only 14 varsity players.

Kevin Rooney, Notre Dame (17th season): Rooney guided the Knights to the 1994 Division III championship, their only section title in the school's 50-year history. With a batch of long-time assistants, Rooney has compiled a 114-72-4 record.

ROOKIES

* Ron Hilton has coached football for 17 years at Saugus, but takes over as head coach for the first time. Hilton, a varsity assistant for four years, replaces Jack Bowman, who resigned after five seasons.

* Keith Knoop inherits a Burroughs team that returns 16 starters from the Foothill League runner-up. Knoop was an assistant to Robert dos Remedios, the coach for three seasons.

* Jeff Chi will try to rebuild a Hoover team that went 1-9 last season, replacing Dennis Hughes. Chi will employ the Delaware wing-T offense.

* Pete Smolin has stepped up from offensive line coach to replace Steve Pinkston at Glendale and try to rebuild a team that was 2-8 last season.

* Richard Wheeler is a strict disciplinarian who will try to whip La Canada into a Rio Hondo League contender.

* Rick Hayashida, El Camino Real's former defensive coordinator, replaced Bob Ganssle in January and inherits a talent-laden team.

* Jack Willard, a former head baseball coach and defensive coordinator at Camarillo and most recently an assistant football coach at Moorpark College, has replaced longtime Coach Joel Gershon at Channel Islands.

* Sloan Bunting, a former freshman-sophomore coach at Grant, takes over a Monroe team that has a roster of only 30 players.

* Jason Garrison gets his first taste as coach after eight years as an assistant at North Hollywood, replacing Gary Gray.

* Co-Coaches Bob Mesa and Lee Jackson try to turn around a Poly program that has won five games in three years.

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