The 23rd year was really the charm for Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks football coach Kevin Rooney. It was the first time in the 55-year history of his school that a team has finished 14-0 and another tip of the hat for that accomplishment is him being named State Coach of the Year by More state coaching honors go to Tom St. Jacques from Lassen of Susanville and Coley Candaele of Carpinteria.

Rooney has always been highly respected among coaches in the CIF Southern Section and within the San Fernando Valley. His team's records since 1994 are just one reason for that respect: 14-0 for 2002, 10-1 for 2001, 11-1-1 for 2000, 10-2 for 1999, 10-2 for 1998, 11-3 for 1997, 12-2 for 1996, 11-1 for 1991 and 13-1 for 1994. That's an average of 11.3 wins for those nine seasons.

Notre Dame's 2002 team capped its season on Dec. 13 with a pulsating 20-17 victory over Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach in the CIFSS Div. III title game. Mira Costa also was 13-0 entering the game and rallied from a 20-3 deficit in the final five minutes. The Knights also posted a win during the season over eventual L.A. City champ Birmingham and got a win over CIFSS Div. IV finalist Westlake of Westlake Village.

After the final game, Notre Dame quarterback Marcel Marquez, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards and passed for more than 1,000 yards during the season, talked about what playing for Rooney has meant to him.

"Coach has been more like a dad to me," Marquez said. "He won't treat anyone with disrespect. He's just the greatest person I've ever met. He teaches us to be good people first and then good football players."

Rooney will enter the 2003 season with a chance to win his 200th game. His career mark after 23 seasons at Notre Dame stands at 193-82-5. This year's CIFSS title was his second, the first coming in 1994. Notre Dame also has two runner-up finishes under Rooney's watch.

Rooney's selection as State Coach of the Year puts him on an all-time list that goes back more than 100 years. The last previous State Coach of the Year from the San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valley region was Mike Herrington of Newhall Hart for 1999. The only other name on the list from that region is from 1909. The last State Coach of the Year from a Catholic high school was Santa Ana Mater Dei's Bruce Rollinson for 1994.

The annual State Coach of the Year honors also are handed out for coaches each year from medium schools and small school designations. This year those selectees are Tom St. Jacques from Lassen of Susanville for medium schools and Coley Candaele of Carpinteria for small schools.

St. Jacques took over the Lassen job in 1995 after serving as an offensive coordinator at Corona High in Riverside County. Since then, he has built the Grizzlies into one of the top programs in Northern California.

Lassen won its second straight CIF Northern Section title on Nov. 24 with a 28-7 triumph over previously unbeaten Enterprise of Redding. The Grizzlies also will take a 24-game overall win streak and a 30-game regular season win streak into next season. St. Jacques' overall record in seven seasons is 67-22 with four straight league titles. This season also was extra special for him as his son, Shawn, was Lassen's quarterback.

St. Jacques is the first state coach of the year from Lassen and is the first medium schools honoree from the Northern Section since Anderson's Bob Reid in 1995.

Candaele, a former championship quarterback himself at the school in 1989, took over as head coach at Carpinteria in 1997. This followed a 3-7-1 season for the Warriors, but Candaele righted things quickly with a 9-4 record in his first season. This season's 14-0 record put his six-year career mark at 51-24-2.

Carpinteria ended its season on Dec. 14 with a 26-22 triumph over Valley Christian of Cerritos in the CIFSS Div. XI championship game. The Warriors then were ranked No. 1 in the final Div. IV state rankings.

Two previous state small school coaches of the year from Carpinteria have been Ben Hallock for 1991 and Lou Panizzon for 1987.


(All-time list since 1896)

(Note: It is the intent with all CalHiSports coaching honors to only choose a coach once so as to spread around the accolades to as many of the terrific coaches in our state as much as possible)

2002 -- Kevin Rooney (Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks) 14-0

2001 -- Bob Johnson (Mission Viejo) 14-0

2000 -- Jerry Jaso (Poly, Long Beach) 14-0

1999 -- Mike Herrington (Hart, Newhall) 14-0

1998 -- Randy Blankenship (Clovis West, Fresno) 12-1

1997 -- John Beam (Skyline, Oakland) 12-0

1996 -- Dave Silveira (Alhambra, Martinez) 13-0

1995 -- Larry Welsh (Atascadero) 14-0

1994 -- Bruce Rollinson (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 14-0

1993 -- John Barnes (Los Alamitos) 14-0

1992 -- Mark Paredes (Bishop Amat, La Puente) 15-0

1991 -- Herb Meyer (El Camino, Oceanside) 13-1

1990 -- Pat Preston (Bakersfield) 13-0

1989 -- Dick Bruich (Fontana) 14-0

1988 -- Norm Dow (Live Oak, Morgan Hill) 11-0-1

1987 -- Bennie Edens (Pt. Loma, San Diego) 13-0

1986 -- Bob Ladouceur (De La Salle, Concord) 12-0

1985 -- Charlie Wedemeyer (Los Gatos) 12-1

1984 -- Tim Simons (Clovis) 12-0-1

1983 -- Ron Calcagno (St. Francis, Mountain View) 13-0

1982 -- Wayne Schneider (Tracy) 12-1

1981 -- Marijon Ancich (St. Paul, Santa Fe Springs) 14-0

1980 -- Bill Workman (Edison, Huntington Beach) 14-0

1979 -- Ron Lancaster (Cordova, Rancho Cordova) 13-0

1978 -- Jerry Deuker (Pinole Valley, Pinole) 11-1

1977 -- Chris Ferragamo (Banning, Wilmington) 11-1-1

1976 -- Benny Pierce (Saratoga) 13-0

1975 -- Ed Lloyd (Cardinal Newman, Santa Rosa) 12-0

1974 -- Dick Haines (Vista) 13-0

1973 -- Dewayne DeSpain (Los Altos, Hacienda Heights) 12-1

1972 -- Bob Hitchcock (Temple City) 13-0

1971 -- Gene Vollnogle (Carson) 12-0

1970 -- Jack Neumeier (Granada Hills) 11-1

1969 -- Forrest Klein (Alameda) 9-0

1968 -- Tom Burt (Los Altos) 9-0

1967 -- Clare Van Hoorebeke (Anaheim) 12-1

1966 -- Ernie Johnson (El Rancho, Pico Rivera) 13-0

1965 -- Dick Coury (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 12-0-1

1964 -- John Hanna (Bellarmine, San Jose) 10-0

1963 -- Paul Briggs (Bakersfield) 9-0

1962 -- Bob Berry (Willow Glen, San Jose) 9-0

1961 -- Joe Marvin (Sequoia, Redwood City) 10-0

1960 -- Sam Cathcart (Santa Barbara) 11-1

1959 -- Dave Levy (Poly, Long Beach) 11-0

1958 -- Paul Huebner (Banning, Wilmington) 11-0

1957 -- Johnny Johnson (Oroville) 9-0

1956 -- Dick Hill (Downey) 12-0-1

1955 -- Duane Maley (San Diego) 11-0-1

1954 -- Aaron Wade (Centennial, Compton) 10-1-1

1953 -- Milt Axt (Poly, San Francisco) 10-0

1952 -- Fred Moffett (Berkeley) 9-0

1951 -- Hod Ray (Palo Alto) 8-0

1950 -- Ernie Busch (Merced) 11-0

1949 -- Bob Patterson (Vallejo) 10-0

1948 -- Harry Edelson (Fremont, Los Angeles) 9-0-1

1947 -- Jim Sutherland (Santa Monica) 12-0

1946 -- George Hobbs (Alhambra) 12-0

1945 -- Colon Kilby (Vallejo) 10-0

1944 -- Bert LaBrucherie (Los Angeles) 7-0

1943 -- Larry Siemering (Stockton) 10-0

1942 -- Brick Johnson (Piedmont) 7-0

1941 -- Roy Richert (Castlemont, Oakland) 5-0-1

1940 -- Clarence Schutte (Santa Barbara) 9-1

Note: List extends back to 1896 in Cal-Hi Sports Record Book & Almanac. All selections prior to 1975 made retroactively through research by Nelson Tennis.

Golden State Preps Top Stories