SoCal coaching icon moving on

The sideline days of one of Southern California's more successful football coaches are apparently at an end.

The sideline days of one of Southern California's more successful football coaches are apparently at an end.

Riverside La Sierra High School football coach Mike Churchill has accepted the position as Laguna Beach High School's new athletic director, said La Sierra athletic director Ron Edmondson.

Churchill won more than 170 games in a brilliant career, which included CIF-Southern Section championships at Riverside Poly in 1984 and '85.

In '84 Churchill's Riverside Poly team defeated Bell Gardens 33-0 in the section title game at Citrus College. So powerful were the Bears and so confident was Churchill that he admitted decades later to meeting with a ring salesman the week of the game to discuss championship ring designs.

The following season Riverside Poly met another legendary Inland Empire coach, Fontana's Dick Bruich, in the large-school title game at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The Bears defeated the Steelers 27-7.

At La Sierra, Churchill inherited a graduation-decimated team from former coach Tony Barile, now at Fontana Summit. The 2006 La Sierra team struggled to a 1-9 record. Ironically, its only win was against Riverside Poly, 14-0.

Despite La Sierra's struggles in '06, Edmondson knows what he's losing.

"He's a quality football coach and we wish him luck," the Eagles A.D. said. "He had to replace virtually every starter last season."

Churchill also coached at Riverside Community College, started the program at Rialto Carter High School and coached at a variety of other high schools, including Redlands and La Verne Damien.


Golden State Preps Top Stories