Magnolia High selects Thavis Miller as new football coach

Thavis Miller credits the lessons he learned playing football for helping him succeed as a father, husband and coach.

Now, he’s ready to pass on those teachings to Magnolia High.

The father of six and former collegiate assistant has been has hired as the Sentinels’ football coach, he said on Thursday, Sept. 24. It’s Miller’s first head coaching position.

“It’s about giving back,” he said.

Miller, a walk-on who also works as a job coach in Los Alamitos High’s adult transition program, replaces three-year coach Desmond Hernandez, now an assistant and full-time physical education teacher at Portola.

Hernandez was not a full-time teacher at Magnolia — he served as substitute teacher.

Miller was a defensive line coach the University La Verne from 2017-18. Before that, he served as an assistant at Cerritos College.

He has been an assistant high school coach in Iowa and North Dakota, rising to defensive coordinator at Boone (Iowa) and North (North Dakota), respectively.

Miller was an all-state high school football player at Wilcox in Georgia and became an all-conference defensive lineman at Iowa Wesleyan.

He also played two years for Milwaukee in the Arena Football League.

Miller is married to former Pacifica star softball player Brittany Weil, now an assistant at Loyola Marymount.

The couple has six children, including standout high school athletes Zatyvion (Los Alamitos/Cerritos College football), Lataviah (Buena Park basketball) and Tajavis (Servite basketball).

Tajavis, a junior point guard, holds offers from Washington State, LMU, San Diego and Pepperdine.

Zatyvion was the Sunset League’s defensive lineman of the year last season. Lataviah, a senior, averaged about 17 points and 11 rebounds last season.

In 2019, Magnolia won seven games on the field (one victory was forfeited for an ineligible player) after winning a combined three games its first two seasons under Hernandez.

Miller said he will focus on the character development of his players. He also aims to build off the success Hernandez experienced last season and take “the next step.”

“The challenge is something I felt I’m up for,” he said.

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Dana Hills hires ex-Mater Dei, Corona del Mar player Trevor Gladych as boys water polo coach

Dana Hills High’s new boys water polo coach will be drawing from an array of experience in and outside of the pool.

The South Coast League contender has hired former Mater Dei and Corona del Mar player Trevor Gladych as its coach, replacing veteran Matt Rosa.

Gladych, 31, played collegiate club water polo and earned a law degree from Georgetown and a screenwriting degree from Loyola Marymount.

He played club water polo at Villanova for coach Dan Sharadin, his top coaching mentor and a key figure in the rise of the College Water Polo Association in the eastern U.S.

Gladych red-shirted for Loyola Marymount’s men’s water polo team.

He has coached and taught the past five years at Saint Francis in Mountain View.

Gladych inherits a team that has been chasing San Clemente the past few seasons in the South Coast League but remained among the top programs in Orange County.

Rosa resigned after 17 seasons in November to spend more time with his family. The Dolphins qualified for the playoffs the past 13 seasons under Rosa, highlighted by a CIF-SS Division 2 runner-up finish to Foothill in 2015.

Gladych praised Rosa for his coaching and the character he instilled in players. He views water polo as the vehicle to achieve character goals.

“The boys at Dana Hills are phenomenal,” Gladych said. “I could not be more excited.”

Gladych will serve as a walk-on coach and be assisted by Kenny Yamamoto.

Gladych also works as a paralegal and a counselor with “Admissions Buddy”, a service for college-bound students. He said he aspires to start a club water polo program.

His brother, Ryan, was a standout center at Mater Dei and played at Brown.

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Tesoro girls swimming coach Todd Conrad departing for Pennsylvania after stellar eight-year run

Tesoro High girls swimming coach Todd Conrad called it a “bittersweet” decision.

The former Orange County high school coach of the year and veteran club coach said Monday, Sept. 14 that he will be resigning and moving with his family to Pennsylvania.

“It was a hard decision,” he said, “but it’s the right move for the family.”

Married with two young sons, Conrad will relocate to Downingtown, a suburb of Philadelphia, and become the head age-group coach with Upper Main Line YMCA. The club has a silver medal-standing with USA Swimming and about 300 year-round swimmers.

“We’re excited to have a new adventure,” Conrad said.

He will take considerable experience on the trek. He guided Tesoro for eight seasons, leading the Titans to the past six consecutive South Coast League titles.

The Titans also have finished second to Santa Margarita at the past three CIF-SS Division 1 championships.

Conrad, the Register’s coach of the year in 2018, also was known for building tight-knit teams and his enthusiasm on the pool deck.

He has been serving as director of operations at FAST the past eight months. His signature post in O.C. club swimming was leading the Coto Coyotes for 14 years. He also was recently the general manager of the Mission Viejo Nadadores.

Conrad swam at UC Irvine and also coached with the Irvine Aquazot and Santa Margarita.

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Beau Green, Turlock quarterback with Auburn offer, enrolls at Mater Dei

The quarterback competition at Mater Dei High has an intriguing new entry.

Beau Green, who missed last season at Turlock in the Central Valley due to an injury but holds an offer from Auburn, has enrolled at Mater Dei, the junior said Friday, Sept. 11.

Green (6-2, 210) didn’t play his sophomore campaign because of labrum surgery on his right, throwing shoulder but recovered to train well over the summer.

“The highlight (of the summer) was getting an extended period of time to really work on my mechanics and clean up my stroke,” Green said. “Another thing that has been nice is finally getting in contact with a lot of college coaches since Sept. 1.”

Green also has been offered by William & Mary, a FCS school.

He played his freshman season at Thomas Downey in Modesto.

Green said he starts distance learning with Mater Dei on Monday. The Trinity League school plans to return to in-person instruction in its hybrid plan on Sept. 22, the first day Orange County high schools can reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The confirmation of Green’s transfer arrives as news of Miller Moss’ departure surfaced this week. The USC-committed quarterback transferred to Mater Dei in June but has returned to Alemany with a plan to graduate early.

Mater Dei is seeking to replace two-year starting quarterback Bryce Young, now a freshman and the No. 2 quarterback at Alabama. Other top contenders for the spot are junior Emmett Brown and sophomore Parker Awad.

Brown transferred to Mater Dei from San Marcos in the offseason while Awad was the freshman quarterback at Mater Dei last season.

Mater Dei quarterback Tobey Schmidt transferred to Maranatha earlier in the offseason.

Please send football news to Dan Albano at dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter

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College commits Thomas Bouda, Jake Trachtman raise profile of Corona del Mar linemen

Corona del Mar High football has become known for its record-setting quarterbacks and wide receivers, and gifted tight ends.

But don’t forget about the Sea Kings’ linemen, especially in the class of 2021.

Seniors Thomas Bouda and Jake Trachtman both recently committed to college programs.

Bouda (6-4, 270) committed to Army as a defensive tackle while Trachtman (6-7, 295) committed to Cal Poly SLO as an offensive tackle.

Bouda said he picked Army for its academics, camaraderie, coaching staff and opportunities after football.

“Army is the No. 1 leadership school in the country and I want to be part of something that is bigger than me,” he said.

Trachtman said he is excited to attend Cal Poly SLO, a member of the Big Sky Conference and another school with a strong reputation for academics.

At Corona del Mar, Bouda and Trachtman also team up to play offensive line. Bouda was the Sunset League’s offensive lineman of the year last season.

Both players helped the Sea Kings finish 16-0 last season with CIF-SS Division 3 and CIF State Division 1-A titles. Corona del Mar’s 16-game winning streak is the third longest active streak in the state.

Please send football recruiting news to Dan Albano at dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter

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Orange Lutheran punter Ashton Logan commits to Colorado

Punters usually don’t receive scholarships coming out of high school. Those rewards seem to go to every other position except punter.

Orange Lutheran High senior Ashton Logan isn’t your usual punter.

The Chris Sailer Kicking five-star recruit has committed to Colorado as a scholarship punter.

“I’m super-excited and blessed,” Logan said of his commitment to the Pac-12 school. “I’ve worked extremely hard to master my craft and playing for a Power 5 program has always been the dream.”

Sailer describes Logan (6-2, 185) as having a live leg with the ability to combine distance and hang time.

“He is averaging 45-plus yards and 4.4-plus (seconds) hang time,” Sailer writes in his evaluation of Logan. “Also shows the ability to hit 50-plus yard punts, with 5.0-plus hang time. … Fantastic prospect.”

Logan could be Orange County’s best punting prospect since Mater Dei’s Ryan Stonehouse, now a standout senior at Colorado State.

Last season, Logan was selected the Trinity League’s MVP Kicker.

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Magnolia football coach Desmond Hernandez resigns after three seasons

Magnolia High football coach Desmond Hernandez, who turned around the Sentinels the past three seasons, has resigned, he confirmed Thursday night.

In an Instagram post, Hernandez said he accepted a physical education teaching position at another high school, which he didn’t mention by name.

When contacted, Hernandez said he couldn’t yet discuss his destination.

Last season, Hernandez led Magnolia to seven victories on the field (one victory was forfeited for an ineligible player) after the school won three games combined his first two seasons.

Magnolia (6-4) placed third in the Orange League and notched its first winning season since 2008.

But Hernandez also helped the team overcoming a fire last summer that destroyed an on-campus equipment shed with football gear.

Magnolia returns a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in seniors Lloyd Marshbanks and Joseph Lariz. But the Orange League looks tougher with arrival of Western, a CIF-SS champion in 2018. Katella has dominated the league the last several seasons.

Hernandez is the third Orange League coach to resign since last season, joining the retired Fred DiPalma (Katella) and Larry Mohr (Santa Ana Valley).

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Servite defensive back Noah Avinger commits to San Diego State, sets sibling reunion

The Avinger siblings are set to reunite in college.

Servite High wide receiver/defensive back Noah Avinger (5-11, 165) on Thursday committed to San Diego State, the same school that signed his twin sister Asia Avinger for women’s basketball last year and received a commitment in July from his brother Lucky Avinger for football.

COMMITTED‼⚫⚪🔴@ServiteFootball @CoachTThom @OLCoachCam @NoaPouono @SeanKoelle @Coach_G_FB @KTalavou @raul3lara @taylorgang0812 @skinner_avinger @CoachSumlerSDSU @CoachZampese @CoachHortonSDSU pic.twitter.com/zyDsh8OaZ4

— Noah.avinger1 (@NAvinger1) August 20, 2020

Asia Avinger was The Register’s female athlete of the year for 2019-20 after a stellar season with Rosary, which advanced to its second consecutive CIF State Division 1 championship game. The final wasn’t played because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lucky Avinger (6-1, 215) is a running back from Fullerton College and La Habra High. Last season, he rushed for 240 yards and three TDs for the Hornets.

Noah Avinger led Servite last season with four interceptions and earned first-team All-Trinity League honors. He picked the Aztecs over several Pac-12 offers, including Oregon, Utah, Arizona and Arizona State.

San Diego State’s recruiting class for 2021 also includes another former Trinity League standout defensive back: New Zealand Williams. The former JSerra safety is now at St. Bernard of Playa Del Rey. Williams was a second-team All-Trinity League selection last season.

The Aztecs’ secondary includes former Santa Ana and Godinez standout Patrick McMorris.

Please send football recruiting news to Dan Albano at dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter

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Legendary Mater Dei football coach Dick Coury dies at age 91

Legendary former Mater Dei football coach Dick Coury, who helped build the Monarchs into a powerhouse before embarking on a long and successful career at the collegiate and professional levels, died Saturday, Aug. 15, announced Lake Oswego High in Oregon, where Coury’s son Steve is the football coach.

The announcement, from the official twitter account of the Lake Oswego football program, said Coury was 91.

“He treated everyone he came in contact with like they were the most important person in the world,” Lake Oswego tweeted. “Even with all of his accomplishments in coaching, he will be remembered more for the type of person he was.”

Rest In Peace coach Dick Coury. #Family #LakerNation pic.twitter.com/wY9rfOkD7n

— LO Lakers Football (@LOLakersFB) August 16, 2020

Coury coached Mater Dei for nine seasons in the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, leading the Monarchs to three CIF-SS titles and seven league titles. His combined record was 85-9-5 from 1957 to 1965.

Coury went on to serve as defensive coordinator for USC and became Cal State Fullerton’s first football coach in 1970.

He was part of the Trojans’ coaching staff for their 1967 national championship. In his two seasons at Cal State Fullerton, he compiled a 13-8-1 record.

Coury was an assistant coach for several NFL teams, including the L.A. and St. Louis Rams.

He served as an assistant with the Eagles in 1981 when they lost to the Raiders in the Super Bowl.

Coury also coached in the World Football League and United States Football League. He was the USFL’s coach of the year in 1983.

The family has informed us that Dick Coury has passed away at the age of 90. Coury coached all three seasons with the #USFL Breakers in Boston, New Orleans and Portland. He also coached with the @steelers, @Broncos, @Chargers, @Eagles, @RamsNFL, @Patriots, @Vikings and Oilers. pic.twitter.com/s8uL2q9SNw

— The USFL Project (@theusflproject) August 16, 2020

While he helped with the Lake Oswego team, Coury also could be spotted at Mater Dei in retirement. He attended the Monarchs’ pre-game ceremony for the 1950 and 1960 team in 2015.

Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson, who hoisted Coury’s arm before the 2015 game, played for Coury at Mater Dei.

“I’ve known Coach Coury since around the seventh grade and have always admired him as both a great coach and a great person,” said Phil Anton, a longtime observer of Orange County football and former chairman of the county all-star game.

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Irvine Unified School District aiming to hold modified athletic activities after school starts Aug. 20

Irvine Unified School District is working quickly to hold athletic activities in a modified way when the school year begins later this month.

Just two days after the California Department of Public Heath updated its guidelines for youth and school-based sports during the coronavirus pandemic, district athletic director Mark Cunningham on Thursday confirmed plans that will allow all Irvine high schools to start holding athletic camps after the first day of school on Aug. 20.

The state recommendations prohibit games but allow for physical conditioning and skill training conducted outdoors with 6 feet of physical distancing between participants.

The guidelines are similar to what many schools were following in mid-June and early July before the sessions were postponed.

Cunningham said the Irvine district received clearance Thursday from Orange County health officials to hold the modified workouts.

“Scheduling facilities is going to be the challenge,” he said. “(We) need to give athletic directors the opportunity to meet with coaches and work together to facilitate the start of camps.”

The Irvine district consists of five high schools: Irvine, Northwood, Portola, University and Woodbridge.

Camps held after the start of school will operate under the CIF Southern Section’s summertime rules, or under the authority of school principals, until the official start of the fall season in mid-December. The CIF-SS extended the summertime rules in its July 20 announcement about the new sports calendar for the 202-21 school year.

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