While the search for a replacement is on, returning South Pasadena High School football players continue their demanding weight-lifting and conditioning- regimen in anticipation to the 2017 season.
The rigor of the off season won’t interrupt the Tigers’ pursuit of another successful year on the gridiron despite not having a head coach to guide them, following C.B. Richards’ surprise announcement last week that he is departing the program.
Richards, who announced his decision to his players in the team’s weight room on February 9, cited the enormous time commitment, telling SPHS Athletic Director Greg Luna that his personal finances were affected by it to work outside of the coaching realm.
Richards plans to stay on as track coach at the school this spring. “He devoted a lot of time to South Pas both in football and track,” pointed out Luna. “Those are very time consuming endeavors. He did that for two years and it was catching up to him.”
Luna stressed, “More than anything it was a time thing. We didn’t have an ideological or philosophical difference. It was just a timing constraint. There were no plans to part ways. This was all his decision.” The athletic director said Richards doesn’t have an offer to coach football elsewhere.
Professionally, outside of his coaching assignments, Richards helps executives relocate from around the world to Southern California, helping them find homes, schools for their children and other areas to help make the move seamless.
“The role of head football coach takes enormous amounts of a one’s time and energy, and responsibilities and demands on a head coach continue to increase,” Richards wrote in letter to his players, coaches, parents and supporters of the program. From March to December you are working and thinking football. “You can’t just follow the job description of a ‘stipend’ coach. To do the role of head coach right, at least the way I operate, you have to go all in. At the same time, the demands of my personal life and financial obligations continue to grow as well. So, it is with a heavy heart that I make the decision to step away from the SPHS head coaching role and perhaps find an opportunity to coach somewhere in a lesser capacity, or where I can manage both my personal obligations and coaching role in a smarter and better way.”
From a record point of view, Richards was beginning to establish a winning football tradition at South Pasadena High after leading the Tigers to 8-3 and 7-4 overall seasons, including a pair of first round CIF post-season appearances.
During his two years with the program, 31 South Pas football players earned Rio Hondo All-League status and this year, for the first time since the 1990s, two players – Jalen Ross and Ben Quirk – were named to the All CIF team.
“It’s been my honor to take this journey with you and I feel proud of all we accomplished together both on and off the field,” Richards wrote in his letter. “With that said, I am most proud of witnessing our football players learn accountability, improve their academics and gain character. To you, the young men I had the great privilege of coaching in this program, my hope is these qualities continue to advance in each of you and that you further develop and make great contributions as citizens in our community.”