Fremont’s Denard steps down

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
Staff Writer
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 jdurkin@bayareanewsgroup.com.

Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin is a sports writer for the Bay Area News Group.

  • XTower

    Gene was always one of my favorites. I loved sitting in the bleachers at Bushrod for Tech baseball games, listening to him and Skyline coach Howard Gamble talk trash and play mind games with each other. It’s that kind of stuff that made covering the OAL so much fun.

    Good luck Gene.

  • E_Culb

    Dang, this be a defining moment for the league. It’s too bad so many of us had to leave at te same time. I can see the volture’s swirling!!!

  • Commissioner Michael Moore, Sr.

    Coach Denard is a man of character, skill and integrity who will be greatly missed.

    I am grateful for his outstanding service to the student-athletes of the Oakland Athletic League.

  • BigGreen

    This just shows that it is tough to be a high school football coach, better yet, a coach period. You have to be able to have balance and make time for family, work, friends, and everything else that comes with this blessed life that we live. I talked with Gene today, and I told him that he did a great job there, and eventhough it took him a while to get some quality wins, he stuck in there and kept his confidence. because when I was coaching at Tech, we easily would put up 40 plus pints with a pretty small team, but Gene always kept it positive and said he would get us. And this year he got em, eventhough I’m not coaching at Tech anymore it still hurts to see us lose to fremont. Anyway it is sad to see three good coaches leave the OAL this year. Especially Gene and Eculb. And Just so everybody knows, Eculb really wanted to be a BULLDOG!!!HAHAHA, JUST KIDDING!

  • I think everything is in place for Fremont to be a power for a while. The Coaches that Denard brang on this year should get the job & stay on the path they were on this year. So it was definetly a good time for him to leave. Can’t say the same for Mac or Skyline still big voids to fill there.

    Jimmy: we need a blog about the A-11 rule changes.

  • i have known the offensive coordinator isamu falevai for several years. He is a great guy and i hope he gets the job. He has a great heart and loves the kids. He is a man who coaches not for himself, but to help kids and help them attain better lives. Best of luck to fremont next year, hope you guys win the OAL. and i good luck to coach isamu, hope he gets the job


    Jimmy, Kyle,
    Whats up with the A-11 rule changes? This is big guys lets get on it.

  • lb050nit

    USA TODAY staff

    NFHS attempts to ban A-11 offense
    Buzz up!Like this story? Share it with Yahoo! Buzz
    In the 11th and 12th paragraphs for the National Federation of State High School Association’s press release on football rule changes for the 2009 season, it looks like the future of the unusual A-11 offense is in jeopardy.

    “The definition of a scrimmage-kick formation was clarified to differentiate formations that have been used traditionally for attempting a field goal or kick try from those used for a punt,” Bob Colgate, the NFHS assistant director and liaison to the Football Rules Committee, said in a release. “In addition, the circumstances under which the numbering exception can be utilized have been changed to clarify what can be done on first, second, third and fourth downs.”

    Here’s a basic primer of the A-11 offense: All 11 offensive players are potentially eligible on a play because they wear receiver-eligible numbers and meet the criteria for a scrimmage-kick formation. The quarterback is at least seven yards behind the line of scrimmage. A base formation includes three linemen, six receivers, a quarterback and a running back.

    Without spelling the rules changes out in detail in the press release, the NFHS apparently wants to limit scrimmage-kick formations to plays where the offense is actually trying to kick a field goal or punt. In essence, it would prevent A-11 teams from lining up in a scrimmage-kick formation when there is no intent to kick a field goal or punt.

    Teams were allowed to run the A-11 offense because the rulebook did not stipulate when a team could line up in a scrimmage-kick formation.

    Piedmont (Calif.) assistant football coach Steve Humphries, who helped implement the A-11 in 2007, wants to find a way to keep running the offense.

    “It is our first hope that the NFHS is able to change with the times and will be most willing to help create an A-11 Football sub-federation within the framework of their existing organization,” Humphries wrote in a release. “If yes, then everybody wins, especially the schools like ours nationwide.”

    Among the other rules changes: the horse-collar tackle will result in a 15-yard penalty.

    “The definition of a scrimmage-kick formation was clarified to differentiate formations that have been used traditionally for attempting a field goal or kick try from those used for a punt,” Colgate said. “In addition, the circumstances under which the numbering exception can be utilized have been changed to clarify what can be done on first, second, third and fourth downs.”

  • Guys,
    I wrote a story two days ago about the rule changes. I just tossed up a new blog post with that story to generate some discussion.

  • Kenny Edwards OAL FANATIC

    It’s definitely sad to see Gene leave. The Denard family has done a lot for Oakland youth and I wish Gene the best. If we had more coaches like Gene, Big Green, E-Culb, and others the OAL would be best served. I guess this means I’ll see him more at Greenman Field!

  • “ZO” The Real Coach Carter

    Good job dawg!! Go ahead and enjoy being the great father that you are because you have know reason to have your head down because you brought the PRIDE back to the Fremont Football program! You are a special friend and I appreciate all those long talks and good advice that you have always given to me and I will always be here for you as a friend. You predicted you were going to the Silver Bowl and you did it and as far as the kids not getting scholarships keep hustling because those kids know that you really care about them not like some of the other lazy coaches in our business! So keep your head up and remember their is only one Dusty Baker/Denny Green (Lol) Your Real Partna “ZO”

  • BigGreen

    Hey Kenny I appreciate that man! Can’t wait for you to get out there and start coaching! Anyway I hope to see Eculb and Gene back out there one day doing what they love to do, and I hope and pray that I can coach against or with them again.