Cardinal football coach Ed Gomez is seen at pre-season practice during the 2006 SPHS football season. He’s now also the Athletic Director.

Ed Gomez, head football coach, also takes on SPHS Athletic Director job

July 18, 2007
Ed Gomez, who has been the Santa Paula High football coach for several years, is now taking on the new challenge as Athletic Director for the school. Gomez, 38, takes over the job from Henry Jacinto who has decided to step down as AD. Jacinto was Santa Paula’s AD from 1985 to 1990, when he took a break from the position and then returned for a second shot at the top job. Jacinto remains at the school as a physical education teacher.After a couple of weeks on the job Gomez says it’s been pretty uneventful. He says Jacinto had already taken care of the scheduling and most of the other things necessary for the fall sports season.Gomez, a 1986 SPHS graduate, said he wasn’t seeking the AD job, but when he knew Jacinto was going to step down he decided to apply. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do,” he said. He spent the last semester as the SPHS Dean of Discipline. “I could have continued with that but this opportunity opened up and this is a little more to my liking,” he added.He says he’ll keep the head football-coaching job, at least for now. “I think with just having volleyball as the only other fall sport, I should be able to balance them.”Gomez says filling Jacinto’s shoes is a big job, especially when it comes to the financial aspect of the job. “He’s a financial whiz,” Gomez noted. “He’s great with budgets and moving funds from here to there. That’s going to be the biggest eye-opener, just seeing all the things he did to keep us in the black. That’s probably where I’m going to need his help the most.”He doesn’t see making any drastic changes in the near future. “Down the road I’d love to see cross country back and boys’ volleyball and maybe even girls’ golf. Right now I’m just learning to operate what we have and not looking to expand or do anything too major.”
He says the athletic facilities at SPHS are a big issue with him. He’d like to see a plan put together to deal with improving the track, football/soccer and baseball fields. “We need to formulate a facilities plan,” Gomez said. “And once we have that plan in place then we can make a wish list and see if this is what we want, what’s it going to cost?”One issue facing him is the number of good athletes who leave middle school and go off to private schools. He says having a winning program is one way to keep them here. “I think the numbers are going down,” he noted. “Football wise I think we’re getting things turned. We’ve got a good young group of kids. If your programs are successful that takes care of it, but facilities is part of it too. They all go hand in hand.”Santa Paula has struggled in the Tri-Valley League. “This year will tell,” he added. “If we can’t do it this year then there’s no question we need to get out. If we have some success this year I think they’ll probably keep us in.”Oaks Christian has dominated the Tri-Valley League in football, as well as most other sports. Gomez believes Oaks Christian needs to move up to a tougher league. Gomez says it’ll play itself out. “They got themselves four more years and I think after this cycle it’ll have played itself out.” He sees two more years before the CIF moves Oaks Christian up.

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