New Coach Banuelos Has LA Pierce on Right Track

Dave Banuelos has taken the helm of the LA Pierce College (Woodland Hills, Calif.) football team for second time, returning after a one year coordinator stint at LA Valley. He seems happy to be back and knows that he has a tough task ahead of him as the Brahmas are coming off an 0-10 season. Banuelos wasted little time identifying areas needing improvement.

He has assembled an excellent staff, taken measures that will improve team academics and attitude, and hit the recruiting trail harder than ever.

In 2000, the Brahmas went 3-7 but Banuellos says they were a few plays away from being 6-4. It's hard to tell what that means exactly, except that it's possible to do much better than 0-10. Given his past association with winning teams, one would think Banuelos wouldn't make it through many losing seasons. As an assistant coach at Moorpark between 1993 and 1998 he experienced four division titles, which are very fond memories indeed.. So Banuelos knows that winning feels pretty good.

This might be as tough a year as any to take over a program in the WSC, but Banuelos comes across as extremely excited and eager for the challenge. He made some astute observations about teams in the conference:

  • Ventura and Moorpark are stacked
  • Steve Schmitz is doing a great job at LA Harbor
  • LA Valley is a sleeper with an improved team attitude and great class of sophomores
  • Santa Monica has a new, well-known offensive coordinator (Steve Clarkson) that can help the Corsairs be more successful
  • Cites Santa Barbara as likely being better
  • LA Southwest is always tough
  • Compton has loaded up with talent ("The whole world is over there!"), and
  • Canyons coaches are continually out-recruiting most teams.
  • Bakersfield is Bakersfield

Banuelos is going about his own business, however, as the Brahmas get ready to scrimmage San Diego Mesa and open the regular season against what should be a tough Victor Valley squad (1:00pm). To help with the task of rebuilding a downtrodden Pierce program, Banuellos has assembled what he thinks is a great coaching staff. Ten have degrees, including 4 with Masters degrees and one PhD.

John Burton (Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs)
Holds a PhD. Coached at Cal Poly SLO in 1980 during their national championship season. He will be 100% focused on  focused on football as both a coach and academic counselor.

Damien Delfino (Offensive Coordinator)
Was the QB and WR coach at Moorpark for five years. Led Moorpark to a WSC title in 1994 as the team's quarterback.

Doug Bledsoe (Defensive Coordinator)
Played JC ball at Glendale under Jim Sartoris before moving on to Cal State-Northridge and TCU.. Held the position of DC at LA Pierce in 1998. For the last three years he was the head coach at University HS in Los Angeles.

Louis Jones (Tight Ends)
Most recently coached at LA Valley under former HC, Carl Ferrill. In addition to coaching TEs, Jones will be the assistant Strength and Conditioning coach.

Mark Serve (Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator)
Coached on back-to-back national championship team at NW Missouri. Banuelos calls this former wide receiver an awesome football coach.

Akili Calhoun (Defensive Line)
Played five years with the Raiders after graduating from the University of Hawaii. A PhD candidate. Kids love him according to Banuelos.

Rene Anderson (Cornerbacks)
Coached at LA Manual Arts and Locke high schools where he was the defensive coordinator. A very knowledgeable coach, who played at Nebraska.

Cesar Jimenez (Safeties)
Played at Moorpark before moving on to Northridge and New Mexico State. "Young and fiery," says Banuelos.

Straun Joseph (OLB)
Coached with Bledsoe at University HS and played at the University of Iowa.

Justin Berenson (Offensive Line)
Most recently coached at Notre Dame HS. A former LA Pierce player who also played at Northridge and Cal Lutheran.

Shane Goodwin (Offensive Line assistant)
Coached at Notre Dame HS with Berenson. A native of Alabama.

Dave Buchanan (Strength and Conditioning)
Louis Jones was his protege according to Banuelos. Was at LA Valley for many years. In the offseason he helps pro prospects prepare for NFL combines and workout sessions. Played at Arizona State and with the Bengals.

There's no question that LA Pierce coaching staff has Banuelos excited. But what about the players with whom the staff will be working? It's a little too early to tell according to Banuelos. He mentions that DB Leon Friend (5-11, 180), who was first-team All-WSC in 2000, is back for another year after sitting out 2001. They also landed PK John Wall who transferred from USC.

Although cautious in discussing his personnel, you get the feeling from the excitement in his voice that Banuelos can't wait to get the season going. It would be good for the conference is LA Pierce could get back on track and it sounds like there's a good bunch of people leading the charge.


Article One
Article Two

JC Football Top Stories