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Results tagged “coaching” from College Sports Blog

VC's turnaround has familiarity for Morris

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This isn't the first time a football coach has arrived at Ventura College and, inside three seasons, has the Pirates playing for the Southern California title.

Terry Morris arrived in 1996 with a disciplined, military upbringing and defensive background culled from his playing days at Texas-El Paso.

VC went from 1-9 in 1997 to 9-2 in 1998. In his third season as head coach, in 1999, the Pirates won nine games again and faced Hancock in the Southern California championship game at Nordhoff High.

"I think of how hard Travis Rogers always ran for us," Morris said. "I think of (fullback) Russell Farrar out in front. I think of how we had such a great, local offensive line that probably was undersized in a few positions that played their hearts out.

"It's about character. We were a take-your-lunch-pail to work team."

Thirteen years later, under third-year head coach Steve Mooshagian, the first 10-0 team in school history hosts a Southern California semifinals Saturday night.

The similarities are obvious to Morris.

"They bought in," Morris said. "That's one of the biggest things that we've got going on this year. The youngsters have bought into the package and the coaches that we have here. That's where I see similarities. The same character is out there."

Morris is the second-winningest head coach in school history, going 50-42 in nine seasons before being removed as head coach after the 2005 season.

He had settled into his second act at VC as the chair of the physical education department when Mooshagian drafted him back into the team after his first season.

"I'm very thankful for coach Mooshagian to look me up and ask me to come back and be a part of this staff," Morris said. "A lot of coaches won't do that when there's ex-coaches on the campus, but coach is trying to put the best product on the field. ... I'm having the time of my life again."

Mooshagian gives high marks to his second-year secondary coach.

"I'm a coach's kid," Mooshagian said. "I understand what it's like to be a head coach and have to go back and be an assistant. ... It's not an easy thing to do. You have to respect that. He's gotten back into it and he's done a great job since he's been back. His role has increased."

Morris has coached a secondary that is third in SoCal with 19 interceptions. Cornerbacks Drek Reid and Jordan Howard are both in the top 6 in the region in pass breakups. Safeties Lakeith Murray, Scotty Wong, Matt Arve and Melvin Tavares have all made game-winning plays to extend the winning streak. Reserves like Jalen Oats and Brandon Lockwood make the secondary the team's deepest position.

"It's one of the strongest positions on our team," Mooshagian said. "Terry's been a great teacher for our secondary guys. He's been through it, so he has a calming effect on the defense ... not just on the secondary, but the defense as a whole."

The "Braintrust"

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The defense that is in the top 5 in SoCal in points allowed (21.1), Top 10 in total defense (367.1 yards per game) and has allowed all but one opponent under their season scoring average is the product of an interesting coaching dynamic.

"It's a perfect blend of youth and experience," Ventura coach Steve Mooshagian said. "I will express myself when I need to, but I leave those guys alone. ... You've got to let them coach."

First-year coordinator Tyson Butler manages veteran position coaches Ted Lawrence (defensive line), Gary Anglin (linebackers) and Morris (secondary), who combine for more than a half-century of VC experience.

"It works for us," Morris said. "Coach Butler brings such an amped-up attitude. He tweaks things right and left that makes things even better. He brings a new view to it. ... He's going to become a great coordinator."

MacKay moving on?

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Moorpark College athletic director Howard Davis was surprised to hear longtime track coach Bob MacKay had accepted a position coaching football and track at Modesto Junior College, according to a Aug. 18 story in the Modesto Bee.

"As far as the college is concerned, we don't know anything," said Davis. "On an official basis, he hasn't told us anything."

Coaching the Moorpark throwers for the past 11 years, MacKay, who did not return a phone message Thursday, had coached 18 individual state champions. During his tenure, the Moorpark men won the 2003 state championship and finished state runners-up in 2005, 2006 and 2009.

Moorpark products Lucais MacKay won the NCAA Division I hammer title in 2003 and Kibwe Johnson is the reigning U.S. champion in the hammer throw.

Moorpark is currently in the process of hiring a head coach for the men's track team.

"After we hire a head coach, I'm going to talk to HR about my suspicions," said Davis. "It's a little strange. But it's not completely unexpected... People have to do what they have to do."

Veteran coaches return to VC, MC staffs

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A few new, albeit familiar faces were on the fields Thursday when fall practice kicked off for the county's two community college football programs.

Entering his second year at the helm, Ventura College head coach Steve Mooshagian has added former Ventura head coach Terry Morris to his staff

The Pirates were 50-42 from 1997 to 2005 under Morris, the second-winningest coach in school history.

Morris goes directly to his area of on-field expertise, the secondary, to coach cornerbacks. Also the chair of the physical education department, Morris will also become the program's academic and placement coordinator

"He'll take that load off of me," said Mooshagian. "Although I'm going to still be involved, there are sometimes when I'm tied up. Now there's someone else to go to."

Morris' return gives the program three full-time coaches on campus with Mooshagian, Morris and assistant coach Gary Anglin.

"That's a plus," said Mooshagian.

Moorpark College has also welcomed back a long-time former football coach in Will Thurston, who served head coach Jim Bittner for 22 seasons from 1979 to 1999.

Former Raiders receiver and coach Curtis Marsh has also returned to the staff. His 250-yard performance against Ventura in 1991 still stands as the school record for receiving yards in a game.

"We have a good coaching staff," said Bittner. "They're working well. There's a lot of enthusiasm. We're excited about the season."

Coaching changes

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Other additions to the Ventura staff were especially familiar to Mooshagian, who has added his son, Bobby Mooshagian, and his potential future-son-in-law, Tyson Butler.

The younger Mooshagian will coach receivers and work as the program's video coordinator.

"That's such an art now with the computers," said the elder Mooshagian.

Butler will coach running backs. Both played at Sacramento State and coached with Mooshagian at Feather River in 2009.

Former NFL safety Michael Stewart, who played with the Rams and Dolphins from 1987-1993 has also joined the staff. Stewart, who played at Fresno State when Mooshagian was an assistant there, is actually a Bakersfield College product.

Stewart lives in Thousand Oaks and his sons Andru and Deveraux have played for Oaks Christian in recent years.

Some returning coaches have had their duties altered.

Jason Bendinelli, formerly the offensive line and tight ends coach, has been promoted to offensive coordinator.

"He's done a great job," said Mooshagian, who retains playcalling duties. "He understands all aspects of the offense. He's very efficient."

Tom Lawrence, who remains the special teams coordinator, takes over tight ends.

Mooshagian said the additions were made necessary by a bigger roster. Ventura began camp with 130 players.

Coaching connection

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Should the Fusion meet Victoria in Sunday's Western Conference final, the touchline will be the site of an unlikely reunion.

Fusion coach Ole Mikkelsen and Victoria coach Ian Bridge have met many times before on the soccer fields of the old North American Soccer League.

Mikkelsen was a striker for the Washington Diplomats and San Jose Earthquakes and Bridge was a central defender for the Seattle Sounders.

Hill joins club

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Fusion goalkeeper coach Bryan Hill was sent off in the second half Tuesday night for dissent. The joke on the sideline after the game was that the red card solidified Hill's position as a "true" member of the coaching staff, considering the staff's history.

Fusion fans will remember coach Graham Smith being sent off late in the 2009 PDL title game win over the Chicago Fire U-23s.

Hill adjusting to coaching role

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Bryan Hill, 33, who backstopped the Fusion to the 2009 PDL title, is adjusting to a new role this summer.

One of the original Fusion players, the veteran has become into the Fusion's goalkeeping coach, yielding the sticks to UCLA goalkeeper Brian Rowe and UC Santa Barbara goalkeeper Sam Hayden.

"There were a couple different factors," said Hill, who also coaches goalies at Oxnard College. "One was the talent that I knew we had coming in with Brian and Sam. Those two are tremendous goalkeepers."

Hill is still on call in case of injury, but the Oregon State product is focused on his coaching career.

"I can definitely still step in and play," said Hill. "But my stance form the beginning has been to let the college guys develop and get a chance to work towards a professional contract."

Goldblatt putting it together

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Lindsay Goldblatt was just 23 years old, three years removed from her playing days at Raider Pavilion, when she took over as Moorpark College women's basketball coach in April 2007.

After three improving seasons, Goldblatt, now 26, has the Raiders competing in the Western State Conference's North Division and on the cusp of its first postseason berth in five years.

"I don't feel like I'm a veteran, by any means," said Goldblatt. "But I feel like I'm getting the hang of this."

Moorpark (15-7, 6-2), which debuted this week at No. 14 in the Southern California coaches' poll, moved into sole possession of second place Wednesday with a 84-73 win over visiting Los Angeles Pierce.

"It's nice to see all of our hard work as coaches being displayed as wins," said Goldblatt. "It starts with the girls. These girls work so hard."

Point guard Sidney Dobner had 24 points, 10 assists and four steals, Ashley Samson had 22 points and Dee Kapil had 17 points.

The No. 10-ranked Ventura College women's basketball team (19-6, 8-0) may be coming to Raider Pavilion Saturday night looking to clinch a share of its 21st straight WSC North title, it may be in for its toughest test of the campaign.

"I saw them against Santa Monica, they were nearly flawless in the first half," said Ventura assistant coach Robin Hester. "We know what we're up against."

Moorpark is 9-1 at home, beating teams by an average of 18.4 points per game.

"We like our home court, for sure," said Goldblatt. "Our offense seems to be doing well at home."

Comings and goings

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The summer is a slow time for the local community colleges, except for the human resources department.

Oxnard College was already in the process of hiring assistant coaches for its men's soccer and women's volleyball programs. Now it will have to replace athletic trainer Jill Muhe, who is leaving to become the head women's volleyball coach at Briar Cliffs University in Sioux City, Iowa.

Moorpark College is in the process of replacing assistant women's basketball coach Lori Chandler, who has retired from coaching, and hiring an assistant football coach.

"Football is closed and the women's basketball job closes any day now," said Moorpark athletic director Howard Davis.

College Sports Blog
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Ventura County Star sports writer and columnist Joe Curley covers college sports and soccer for this Star. This is the place to click for local college football and basketball coverage, including USC, UCLA, Moorpark College, Ventura College and Cal Lutheran.

Curley will update from live events and also interject with periodic comment on both international soccer and the local Ventura County Fusion.