- How long have you been working at Chapman / how did you get here?
I have been at Chapman since 1994, so this fall will be my 28th season. Prior to that I was coaching at Whittier College. Ken Visser, the Head Coach at Whitter was offered the job as Head Coach at Chapman and asked me to join him. The opportunity to continue coaching for Ken (I had also worked for him at Long Beach State) and to be back in Orange County where I was born and raised was something I couldn’t pass up. It was also exciting to get to work for then Athletic Director Dave Currey, who I also knew from my Long Beach State days, as we started up a new football program.
- What’s your favorite story from working at Chapman?
Hard to pick one after all of these years, but I would have to say all of the excitement and uncertainty of that first season in 1994. We arrived in January of 1994, just 7 months before fall camp in August. We had no players, no offices (we set up in a large walk-in closet), no helmets, shoulder pads or even footballs. We just started to recruit and build. We ended up with 120 or so players on that first roster! We had to build a temporary press box because the stadium didn’t have one, and I would be out there in the stadium on Fridays with our players painting all of the lines and numbers on our grass field. I’m not sure we ever did get those lines and numbers on totally straight (we had crooked hash marks and some 9 ½ yard endzones), but it was the start of the Chapman football legacy. The excitement about Chapman football in the community and with potential recruits was amazing. Our first game was against Whittier. We were able to win that game. The way the University, staff and players worked to get our program started is something I will always remember.
- What’s the best part about working with student-athletes at Chapman?
The student-athletes at Chapman are amazing. Having come from the Division I level, where many players are there for football only, it is great to see the character and quality of the student-athletes at Chapman. Our student-athletes continue to excel in the classroom, graduating on time (or early), while working hard as athletes, without having to be constantly told what to do. The student-athletes at Chapman are a great example of what student-athletes should be.
- What is the best moment from your nearly 30 years of coaching at Chapman?
Again going to be hard to pick just 1. Gaining membership into the SCIAC (giving our student athletes the opportunity to compete for championships and awards), the SCIAC championships in 2014, 2017 and 2019. Our first home playoff game and playoff win in 2019. The building of the new stadium and athletic complex.
- Anything else you want to say to alumni?
Thank you for all that you did while at Chapman, and for all that you continue to do. You represent our University well. Having been around as long as I have, I have gotten to see many of you go on and have great success, get married, have children. As much I like seeing you have success as athletes while at Chapman, the most rewarding thing is seeing you move on and have success in life. Thank you for your continued support. Go Panthers.