For the seventh time since 2010, a Trinity League school threw out the welcome mat for a new head football coach during the offseason.
Rich Fisher became the third coach to take the helm at Santa Margarita in the last seven years when he was hired last January following a two-year run by Rick Curtis and four highly successful seasons under Harry Welch.
Servite has hired two head football coaches in the last three years after Troy Thomas won seven league titles in eight years at the school, while Orange Lutheran and St. John Bosco brought aboard their current head coaches during this decade as well.
For curiosity’s sake, the head football coaches at the other two Trinity League schools, Bruce Rollinson of Mater Dei and Jim Hartigan of JSerra, are set to begin their 28th and 10th consecutive seasons at their respective schools.
But change is in the air in other sports too, and possibly the most high-profile non-football hire is at Mater Dei, where former head softball coach Tia Meza was promoted to athletic director last spring.
Meza, a former star pitcher at Mater Dei who spent the last four years serving as both head coach and the school’s Director of Admissions, Marketing and Media Relations, finished off her final season last June by winning the program’s first CIF-SS Division I title since 1998.
Meza handed the managerial reigns to Jessica Foley, an assistant on last season’s team who spent the nine previous years assisting at El Modena High School in Orange, where she graduated in 2005 after winning Century League most valuable player honors that spring.
“I’m extremely blessed to have the opportunity to continue coaching at Mater Dei,” Foley said. “Taking over this program is a huge honor, and I will continue to uphold the traditions of the school, both on and off the field.”
The task of winning will be much tougher for new Rosary girls’ volleyball coach Filip Tomicic, who inherits a varsity team that’s posted a 1-23 record in league play over the last three seasons.
Tomicic was raised in Croatia and played for the men’s national team before coming to the U.S. to attend college and play volleyball at Cal Baptist University in Riverside, where he led the Lancers to the NAIA national championship in 2011. He then played the following season at Cal State Northridge before finishing his career at Hope International University in Fullerton, obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.
This will be Tomicic’s first head coaching position at the high school level, having spent time as an age-group club coach and assistant at Mt. San Antonio College and Tustin High School. He also owns and directs his own organization, ProPlay Volleyball Club.
As far as winter sports, JSerra will have a new boys’ basketball coach on the floor this season.
Zach Brogdon was hired in April to coach the Lions. Brogdon coached the last six seasons at Capistrano Valley Christian, leading the Eagles to a combined 125-46 record and three trips to Southern Section semifinals.
He replaced Joedy Gardner, who guided JSerra the last seven seasons. Gardner had his most successful run last winter, finishing with an 18-11 mark and a trip to the Division 4-AA quarterfinals, but his contract wasn’t renewed and he was promptly hired by Fairmont Preparatory Academy in Anaheim.