The Oakland Athletic League loses another good football coach as Eugene Denard steps down. Here’s what I’ve written for tomorrow’s paper.
By Jimmy Durkin
Fremont High’s Eugene Denard has always put his players ahead of personal accomplishments.
That’s the reason, he said, he’s decided to step down as the Tigers head football coach. He’ll also be resigning as head baseball coach in June.
“I had been thinking about it for the past year,” Denard said. “The (football) program is going in a better direction, but some things weren’t going quite the way I expected in to go.
“When I took over the program five years ago my main goal was to start a machine like McClymonds or Skyline where kids get in and out of school. I did everything that I believed was the right thing to do, but it didn’t turn out that way.”
Denard is recommending his offensive coordinator, Isamu Falevai, to take over the head football job.
On the football field, the success was there this season when Fremont went 9-3, won a share of the Oakland Athletic League regular season title and reached the Silver Bowl. But Denard was frustrated to not see any of his players earn college scholarships.
“Some kids busted their butts and did everything they asked,” Denard said, “and they didn’t get anything.”
Denard also is looking to spend more time with his son Devante, a junior football and baseball player at Fremont.
“I’m just going to be a parent his last year of high school,” Denard said. “I’m going to be his biggest cheerleader.”
Denard’s nine-year-old daughter is involved in travel fastpitch softball also and he’ll also dedicate more time with her.
Contact Jimmy Durkin at firstname.lastname@example.org.