Logan coordinator Eric Billeci named Cal High football coach

The search if finally over.

California High principal Mark Corti announced today that James Logan defensive coordinator Eric Billeci has been tabbed as the next football coach.

Billeci played at De La Salle and later at Saint Mary’s College before getting into teaching and coaching immediately following that.

He has served as the defensive coordinator at Freedom under Kevin Hartwig and most recently under George Zuber at Logan for the past three years.

Billeci is a PE teacher at James Logan — Cal does not have any teaching jobs open for next year at this time.

He is expected to bring a power-type running game as the base offense, something that rising-senior offensive lineman Max Schultz said the team is happy about.

“That’s pretty much what we were last year, we’re definitely happy to be a running team,” Shultz said.

Billechi replaces former coach Tony Sanchez, who compiled a 35-21 record over the past five seasons. During Sanchez’ tenure Cal won its first North Coast Section playoff game and advanced to the NCS 4A championship game in 2007.

Sanchez left after accepting the head coaching position at Nevada state power Bishop Gorman-Las Vegas in early March.

Strength and conditioning coach Sean Manuel, who was a finalist for the head coaching job, will remain with the program.

Kyle Bonagura

Kyle Bonagura is a Pleasanton-based prep sports writer for the Bay Area Newsgroup-East Bay.

  • runslikethewind

    Big, deep breath people…

    Coach Billeci isn’t Coach Sanchez, but he is a pretty bright guy with a pretty good background. HE WILL DO WELL. He definitely will have a plan. Let the poor guy coach. KillerD, not to call you out, but let him do his thing. It’s this guy’s time. He’s earned it. He’s ready. and Samb… you’re right on, as long as the coaches have what’s best for those kids in mind… there is the occasional coach who is a bit of a self-aggrandizer, but they are relatively few. From what we know, Coach Billeci is a guy who is about the kids.
    I would imagine Captain Midline, if I guess correct, knows a thing or two about Coach B and is absolutely correct. So, Coach B if you see this, Congratulations and Good Luck! Oh, and one more thing, the EBAL coaches are way too classy to EVER celebrate someone’s hiring as a victory for them. Those guys are probably trying to get their hands on game film right now to get a plan going… those guys never take ANYTHING for granted. That’s why they’re great coaches and give us some great football to watch.

  • Wynn

    No interest here in bashing a coach who has yet to call his first game as a head coach, but I have posted my questions from Post number 27 again because they have gone unanswered.

    1. Who will be his offensive coordinator?

    2. Who will be his defensive coordinator? Or will Bellici call the Defense?

    3. What coaches are staying at Cal and who is Bellici bringing with him?

    4. What will Sean Manuel’s new role be at Cal, now that it is well known he pushed hard for the head job at Cal?

    5. With all of that talent at Cal, and it is assumed Cal wants to win the EBAL title, how long will Bellici have to Win the League Title?

    Input or opinion anyone?


  • MustangFan

    Cal fans sure like to tell everybody how amazing, great and ultra talented their frosh and jv programs are! Since when did anybody start calibrating the varsity programs guaranteed success by the wins put up by freshman and jv teams in this league?

    You Cal backers are so arrogant and full of yourselves going around telling everyone how good you are and great you will be this year and next!

    When some people call your number on here and ask you for facts, you throw a hissy fit and blister them with poisonous barbs.

    Griz fans, back up your self-important trumpeting of your talent with an EBAL title, otherwise you hired the wrong coach, and Griz fans will be kissing the Bronze medal again.


  • uranidot

    Hey killerD

    I love how you hide behind your fake name… I made up my fake name just for you.
    Cal will be fine and we who support Cal High’s football program hope you stay home and continue to read your paper and rant and rave… pretty soon you’ll stroke out and won’t be missed. My guess…. your a Danville resident who lives in a home you can’t afford and are looking for a job cuz you spend way too much time on here.
    stop hating and go for a hike cuz your probable fat too.

  • WaitWhat??

    He “earned” it?? Really?? How?? I hear that at least 3 Head Coaches with good records applied. I don’t have an issue with Billeci, my question is how they came up with this selection. How do qualified and experienced head coaches get bypassed? Usually first-timers are given struggling programs to see what they can do. If they do well some will parlay it into a better situation, i.e. Coach Sanchez.

  • runslikethewind

    My guess is that some of the established coaches who were interested probably pulled out due to the issue of a teaching job. So some of the “sexier” names may not have been there at the end. Coach B has earned it in that he is a successful assistant coach, has coordinated a defense, is bright, articulate and has a plan.

    Like I said, I’m sure some of the candidates who were interested were not available after they interviewed and had a better grasp of the situation. Let us not forget, it is a high school football head coaching job, albeit in the EBAL, but it does not come with ANY financial perks or protections. This is not the NFL.

    I don’t think those other coaches were bypassed, I just don’t think they were there at the end. It’s a lateral move financially and in this climate, a pretty risky one at that. For those other supposed guys who are teachers, it’d be pretty hard to leave a program that you established as successful, come to a new district, be low man on the totem pole and then possibly get pink slipped at the end of the year, regardless if you went 13 – 0. You could keep your coaching job and the annual $3,000 that comes with it, but the piece that allows you to live, your teaching job is gone… try explaining that one to your wife and kids. That’s what some of the “bigger” named coaches would have had to do. No… I’m sure the hiring board at Cal hired the best guy available. And it sounds like they got a good guy… Now let him coach!

  • HeIsAGamer

    Eric Billeci is a great coach. I have known him my entire life, and can honestly say he is ready to run his program. He played and started at DLS during their heyday, and played great at St.Marys, even stepping in as FB when they were depleted. Also ran for over 100 yards numerous times, even being a TE. He has coached at Freedom when Borel was there, leading their resurgence there. HIs time at Logan helped him coach with better talent and a larger pool of kids. Tell me this, what do you experts know about him that makes him such a bad hire? Give him a chance! What has he done to disprove? He wins everywhere he goes! Let him do what he needs to do!

  • Kyle Bonagura


    To answer some of your questions….

    1. Who will be his offensive coordinator? — Still up in the air, will be meeting with the staff before any of that is ironed out.

    2. Who will be his defensive coordinator? Or will Bellici call the Defense? — Same.

    3. What coaches are staying at Cal and who is Bellici bringing with him? — He said he’s got some people in mind who he wants to bring in, but for the most part wants the current staff in place. (Said if it aint broke, don’t fix it …)

    4. What will Sean Manuel’s new role be at Cal, now that it is well known he pushed hard for the head job at Cal? — Not exactly sure, but I’d imagine he continues to work with strength and conditioning. He has been the OLine coach (and successful) so look for him to be back there if not a bigger role.

    5. With all of that talent at Cal, and it is assumed Cal wants to win the EBAL title, how long will Bellici have to Win the League Title? — It’s high school sports and DLS is in the league. You don’t get fired if you get finish second-to-fifth from year to year. As long as Cal is competitive, I’d assume he’s there for the long haul.

  • Isn’t Cal playing like Grant, Bellevue, & some other good team in the Non-League? If DLS went 2 out of 3 with how good those teams were last year is saying something. Somebody posted that they’re going undefeated in Pre-Season but lose to MV & SR? Just going on last year (which is all you can do right now) MV & SR aren’t better then Grant & Bellevue. Cal with whoever coaching has a tough schedule. Maybe 2nd best in northern California if those are 2 of their non-league teams. Thats why Sanchez is so respected he don’t duck no one.

    Point is with that schedule it will be hard to judge the new coaches on wins & losses next year.

  • Kyle Bonagura

    Cal is playing Del Oro, Washington and West-Tracy.

    Sanchez tried to get Grant, but it didn’t work out. The Del Oro game is part of the Battle at the Capital, four-game set that also has Granite Bay-Pittsburg and two others that I can’t remember off the top of my head right now.

    Also, Grant is playing Bellevue.

  • KIsstheRing

    No matter who they hired the man would not have done the job that Sanchez and his STAFF would have. To expect anyone to come in and dominate is not bright. So here are the real facts

    1) Cal will not win as many games as they should this year.
    -it takes a long time for a coach to know the pulse of the kids and even longer if it is a coaches first time steering the ship

    -The new coach is used to a couple of lightweights on the schedule, there is no “easy” game on Cal’s schedule. As strong as any coach is, the EBAL is the show. You can’t just have the kids you better have answers, and in the EBAL you need those answers every week. Any one talking about talent prevailing in that league doesn’t know much football.

    2)Not as many kids will sign scholarships as they should
    -I have read up to 6 Div 1 kids, at best 2 will sign. The new coach has 0 experience with recruitning kids. Not many Logan kids signed and very few coordinators have much input or do much work in the world of recruiting. The new coach will be so busy establishing his program that recruiting will slide to the back burner, and with no real connections from past recruiting successes it will be a tough road.

    3)The parents now steer the ship
    -NEW AD

    It is about control the parents obviously want it and now the have it.

    Why hire the young guy with huge potential..he will give power to parents rather than rock the boat. You think Longero or Wade or Walsh would have asked for input or help or advice…the quick answer is no.

    The new coach is a worker and good things happen for workers

  • Im a returning starting Junior from logan, and coach billechi announced his leaving yesterday. It was a big shock to the team. Cause from my stand point, he was a great coach. He really put all his time in our team, and pushed us past our limits. Im proud of him, and he will do damage for cal. Cant wait for that scrimmage.
    Btw.. we had a solid ass defense last year. Only monta vista seeked through, a wake up call. be ready for us next year..

  • Dont worry, it was a good move for cal.

  • cal fan

    lol you guys have no idea..just watch when we hit that feild next year you guys are going to be suprised we will win the title next year we have tremedous leadership this year..no matter who the coach us players knw what we have to get done and we will get it done..all of you guys who are doubting us you guys are in for a rude wakening..all this talkin crap about us losing to granada and coming in 4th or 3rd..is bs this is going to be on one of the best seasons that we have had at cal..keep talkin your trash you will see what happens on the field

  • slow

    Billeci’s first rookie mistake: Taking the job without a job on campus.

    You can’t be king of the mountain when you not sitting on top of the mountain.

  • KillerD

    Again with name calling because I disagree with you. Petty.

    Look at Cal’s non-league games.

    Del Oro?

    Enrollment of less than 1,700 so Cal SHOULD win this game vs. the Eagles.

    Washington? Washington? George Washington?

    Cal Wins Big as they did in 2008 vs. the Fremont team that’s a Shadow of its heyday in the late 70’s and 80’s.

    West Tracy?

    Cal beats the larger school. Kids at West-Tracy are still calling the game Futbol, and not Football.
    Bellici’s first nice victory vs. the ketchup school for kids.

    So, after all is said and done, Cal will be 7 – 3 or 8 – 2 in 2009.

    Nice record, but its odd to read how much talent Cal keeps saying they have, but that its ok to finish 2nd or 3rd or 4th.

    Play for the title no excuses. To the joker listing me as fat and living in Danville. I am not fat and own a home in Concord. Go on a walk yourself and cool off.

    Finally, breaking news broadcast over 101.7 KKIQ reaching all the way up here and throughout the 680 corridor of EBAL dominance.

    “EBAL football coaching legends of the fall were all seen this morning sipping Coffee, Gatorade and chugging Tylenol at Denny’s of Sycamore Ave, after contracting brain-splitting hangovers and nauseating headaches from last night’s celebration boot kicking party at Forbes Mill steak house in Danville. The tab last night with Tip, surpassed an amazing $2,200, including 6 bottles of Opus One and Dom P.”

    None of the EBAL coaching legends were available for comment this morning.

  • MoellerMan

    While I can appreciate the passion surrounding this topic (66 comments so far), we are talking about Cal high right? In San Ramon? This is far from a dominant program. Folks here are talking about the team and it’s recent history like they are one of the premier teams in the area. The truth is that Cal had a good year in 2007 but finished tied for fourth in the EBAL in 2008. Tied for fourth also equals tied for fifth. Not a strong performance.

    The bottom line is that without being able to offer a teaching position, Cal got the best guy available.

  • Dale

    It’s not the I agree or disagree with the views of KillerD, but KillerD, can you please stop with your little stories of the EBAL coaches celebrating around town? They just aren’t funny.

  • Whoknew

    I agree with Dale.. if those coaches are celebrating like you say it just proves how low class they are.. the parents do it enough for SRV and MV… the coaches don’t need to join the party.

  • JJ

    After listening to Billeci talk to the team for the first time, he definitely sounds like the right guy for the job. He repeatedly said “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” meaning he’s going to continue the same sort of program at Cal. He knows what it means to be a winner, he never lost while playing for DLS, and had some very successful teams at James Logan. He will do fine, and with the talent already on Cal, one can expect great things from Cal in the near future.

  • Washington Fremont is their non-league? Their schedule is looking pretty solid for a 1st year coach. Washington probably being their toughest game. Lookling like all down grades. Their best opponent this year is probably not as good as their worst last year Las Lomas. Good for Cal. They just need a solid non-league with how good their league is.

  • KillerD

    KisstheRing who posted his brilliant take in box #61 drilled the screws perfectly – winner!

    Now to the reality check again on Bellici’s resume’.

    While at Freedom Bellici did a respectable job, but Not a stellar job under Kevin Hartwig. In fact, look closer and Freedom has gotten Better since Bellici left for Logan.

    Last three years at Logan, Bellici has accomplished What exactly at Logan?

    Logan has gone DOWN a bit, and its the LARGEST school in Northern California with over 4,000 kids at the high school! Coach Fromson did a better job at Logan than the Zuber/Bellici combo, no disprespect.

    Seems like Bellici’s selling point to get the job was that old slogan, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

    Cal did tie for 4th place in 2008 finished with a record of 6-4, then stomped Washington in playoffs, as I mentioned in my prediction for Cal in 2009. Then Cal got beat by a good Pittsburg team from over yonder.

    With the 70 posts on this Cal topic some interesting and apparently true things have materialized, plus our own head coach has talked to his established head coaching contacts along the 680/24 freeways, its obvious Cal did Not want a proven head coach to come onboard who was going to disrupt things.

    The moral of the Cal head coaching hire appears to be very little different was the call of the day.

    Now, I know some of you are waiting for it, and even though Dale and Whoknew do not want to read the latest rumor…………………….well, that’s all for tonight then.

    Save that rumor for another day.


  • Cowboy88

    I appreciate good humor and killerD gets me laughing hard with some of his outlandish and funny sightings and rumors.

    People on here should stop trashing Livermore, we’re trying to be good and work hard.

    As for Cal’s hire, only the next one or two years will be the real story as it unfolds for better or worse. It does appear to be a quizzical hire however.

  • Kyle Bonagura

    Del Oro should be better than Washington next year. DO is normally one of Sac’s best teams and after having a down year last year, they are supposed to be good again next year.

  • srvcrusher

    In Wolf country we are sick and tired of the Cal loudmouths blabbing to everyone about how big and strong and fast their team is, even the young kids coming up through junior leagues are supermen according to Cal players.

    A Cal player even scribbled that players at SRV are unhappy and fighting, what a load stink!

    If the parents over at Cal are really as out of control nuts and giving orders about who to hire as a football coach then they get what they deserve.

  • KillerD

    For my last words on the new coaching hire of Bellici, its easy to poke at Cal for making this decision, but all in good play.

    The choice is of no fault to Bellici, he is young, eager and excited about the challenge.

    Two futures are possible for Coach Bellici at Cal.

    ** The Cal program is jammed with numbers of big strong and athletic kids compared to the other teams in the EBAL, including De La Salle. If true, all Bellici has to do to win at least 8 games each of the next two years is show up and “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

    Contigency effect(and only the Cal Administration knows if true or not) but, if Griz backers expect and demand a win over De La Salle and the EBAL title, and Bellici delivers within a year or two, the Cal administration and the extremely involved parents will be considered brilliant, and they should be so annointed for their selection of the inexperienced Bellici – relative to his light resume and no head coaching trail at the time of his appointment.

    Or, the double asterik criteria above is true, but for any reason at all, the Cal program does not beat De La Salle, and does not win the EBAL title within the next two years, and finishes 3rd or 4th in the league again, despite its declared size and talent advantage.

    What then?

    Does the Cal admininstration continue to back the still young Bellici at that point? He will be only 31 years old a couple of years from now, with a couple of full seasons under his head coaching belt.

    Being truthful to the battle cry of their 2009 hiring of Bellici in his own words, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” what then does Cal do?

    If you give the young Bellici, whose relatively thin experience as a defensive coordinator – with moderate results, including at Logan, the largest school in Northern California – the keys to the Cal Griz football kingdom, with the instructions and agreement of, “OK, here you go, don’t break it, and you must beat De La Salle and win the league soon.”

    How far do you carry young Bellici if you are Cal?

    Two years, three years, four years or ten years?

    If the Cal football players know in their own minds and truly believe they SHOULD win the league based on their comradarie and talent – whose Fault is it if they do not succeed even though everybody is saying they should?

    1. Bellici’s?

    2. The kids?

    3. Or, the Cal administration?

    This football coach glances down the path, and would not shoulder the blame on Bellici or the kids.

    So then, therein rests the answer if Cal does not win.

    Good luck to Bellici and Cal, I hope you prove everybody wrong. Go get them!


  • KIsstheRing

    why are the blogs so hard to find today?

  • GrizBiz

    KillerD, I had you pegged wrong, totally.

    Nice job, fair and squarely put.


  • I think everybody has had their say on this topic.

    Bonagura, Durkin its obvious the Bay is ready to start talking some Football. Don’t think its too early to Post everyones non-league you guys have. Or even Contact Camps or Passing Tournaments too look out for.


    I heard about a camp at Encinal. Supposed to be pretty good too.

  • whiskeyjack

    Jesus. I want to print this page up so I can show it to some of you clowns in a year when Cal blows up the EBAL with their new coach.
    KillerD-you said you have 12 years in the concord area and somehow you are an expert on football, the only team in that area worth its salt is De La, and for how much trash you’ve talked on here going on for three consecutive days I know that you don’t coach there. You are probably an athletic trainer for the freshman team at mount diablo so beat it.
    PS- at least spell his name right, it is BILLECI.
    Also, who cares about the parents? This is high school football, it is between the players and coaches not the mommys and daddys or donors to the school.
    I can’t believe this many people have negative opinions based off some of the most ridiculous speculation I’ve ever heard. You are the same ass clowns that will be sitting in the bleachers next year talking about what a good choice Cal made on their coach. Just sit back on your little seat cushions and let the man do his thing. Personally I think he should take over the strength and conditioning program too. Cal has had some decent years recently but they are light years from a dominant program, you guys are talking on here like you win titles every year.

  • mr.positive

    It’s a bit disapoiting reading a lot of these comments. Let’s give the guy break and let him do his job…help our kids win!!! I did a little research on Mr. Billeci’s stay at Logan and they made the palyoffs each year (conference not the best, but they did what they were supposed to do….win). Also, his defense was one of stingiest in the entire bay area. This kid comes from a very good pedigree of football and I’m extremely confident he will flurish in EBAL.

    Welcome to

  • SpartanMania

    I’ve been to every DLS game in the last 7 years, and seen them at their best and worst.

    Even at their lowest and least talented last year DLS was able to win the ebal.

    DLS should rebound after dropping the state title game to Centennial. Go Spartans, no matter who Cal Hi’s new coach is, even though he played at DLS, you still got to beat them.


  • CantHandlethePatsies

    This Loyal EBAL reader of everything sports cannot handle the pussy-footing around this issue any longer!

    Cal had the great chance to hire amazing and experienced coaches, BUT, they passed and instead chose to GAMBLE the Senior and Junior players future away on an Unproven and Completely ROOOOOOOOKIE head coach in ThIS league!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Some of the Bloggers on here have showed tremendous restraint in not beating some senase into the Cal high fans, players, coaches and Admininstration about this JOKE of a hire!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It was a 2nd Rate hire at its best, could turn out to be 3rd rate or worse.

    Awful choice for Cal high and it’s their fault.

  • BerryMadBear

    Best dissertation I heard about this Cal blow up was at dinner and a lot of drinks last night with veteran EBAL parents at Cal.

    Put Kravits, Sweenney, Bergman, Silva, Sirra, Ladocuer and the Livermore Coach all in the same room, and force them to actually choose the Best coach for Cal High.

    Choices Are, Moreno from Dublin, Longero from Las Lomas, Bryan from Piedmont, Wade from Miramonte and Walsh from Serra, and Billeci from James Logan.

    Do not let those great coaches out of the room until they pick the number one best coach that will lead Cal to the title championship.

    Billeci would have been the very last choice picked from those coaches who have suffered the bruises for years in that league.

    Stupid choice.

  • Dr. Jim

    Nice work BerryMadBear. From your list of coaches that you named, only two actually interviewed and one of them was obviously Billeci. And you spelled just about every coach’s name wrong. So glad you came up with this with veteran EBAL parents at Cal. There are no better experts than parents.

    Stupid post.

  • grizzlyadams

    Cal will be fine.



    I’ve sat back for too long and listened to the “armchair” quarterbacks on this blog. If you think you could do better than Billeci at coaching a high school team or that you know more about hiring a football coach than the staff at Cal High then you either should have applied for the job or found a way to get on the interview committee.

    I can’t stand the lack of respect you people have for the work the coaches (Billeci) and the staff that put hours into to making these high school teams successful.

    If you think you know more or can do better then get off these blogs and get onto the fields or into the weight rooms with these kids.

    All in all remember this – yes winning is great. But I learned just as much from my losing teams as I did from my winning teams. I am a successful person today because I played sports not because I went to State finals in one sport or because in another sport I never won a league title. I still have friends from both teams and I still talk to both coaches 15 years later. Sports is what you make of it and as parents, coaches, administrators or observers it is our job to support kids NO MATTER WHAT THE SITUATION IS. SO STOP with the trash talking and support the kids.

  • oletimer

    Thank God the De La Salle Administration didnt think like most of you guys because they would never had hired Coach Lad

  • Who cares? Lets get East Bay. Whats the OAL non-league next year? People still gonna dog O-High, Fremont, & Castle out of games even though they balled last year & were 3 of the top 6 most athletic teams in the Bay. My list Best Athletes:1)Pitt 2)Castlemont 3)B-High 4)Fremont 5)S.L. 6)O-high. St. Mary’s still playing O-High after getting thrashed week one? Castle up its non-league so if they run the table they can go to state?

  • LocalFan

    Great post SPORTLOVER. You nailed it. Amen.

  • JJ

    I think people have over-analyzed this decision way too much. The Cal admin had its reasons for picking Billeci and I’m sure they were very legitimate. I think with the talent and leadership in the players on the Cal team, they will do fine. Do I see them beating DLS next year? no. In five years, who know. I do know that Cal, with its great community support and strong core leadership will still be a top team in the East Bay next year.

  • Dons


    E – east

    B – bay

    A – awesome

    L – league

    Our coaches at AV were surprised by Cal’s new coach pick, and one of them told us Cal did not want anything or as little as possible to change.

    That is the main reason for the new coach, he promised to keep things virtually the same.

    Does it matter to us at AV? Nope.

    Go Dons!

  • PC curry

    Some of you need to sit back and relax this is out of control. This is not Notre Dame not Usc not Ohio St this is CAL HIGH yes your regular old HIGH SCHOOL, where kids play a game, there not on scholarship the coach won’t be fired if he does not win a championship he will be fine just as any other coach would of been it is HIGH SCHOOL some of these statements i read on here are a joke stop treating this as if it is a BCS school with a national championship on the line

  • uranidot

    OK Killer D post # 66 let’s see if this one fits.
    you played sports but were a bench warmer so you had to
    develop your mind skills to try to stay friends with the ones who played.
    truth be told coaches really don’t like you… fyi
    Let remember this is High School and your not in High School anymore. right???

  • HAAL Fan

    I think it’s safe to assume that those established coaches we had heard applied, did not. If given the opportunity to go with an experienced and proven coach, I’m sure the committee would have. All these arguments against the guy are based on the assumption that those coaches applied. So let’s not say he’s not the right guy because Walsh would be better. I think he may not fit the part because of his defenses’ less than stellar performances. However, he is young and eager and we all know that that’s the kind of guy you want during these financially tight times.

  • HAAL Fan

    I think what I’m trying to say is you want someone who’ll put up with the BS and a lot of experienced coaches won’t. But, a young guy, with a lot to prove. Damn skippy, he’ll stick it out.

  • cal fan

    Coach you will have the support of the player’s and the parents at Cal.That’s all you need.Go Grizzles

  • thedisapointment

    u need support from the school as well as fellow coaches. and from what ive heard there’s at least 2 coaches on the staff last year who are skeptical about the hire.

  • got2go

    What I don’t get is that if Cal was looking for someone who was going to run things in a similar fashion to Sanchez, why didn’t they hire Sean Manuel?