|Lower Lake High School football Head Coach Mike Huffman, left, and sophomore Willie Isaacs, a 6-3, 292-pound lineman. Photo by Rich Mellott.|
When Mike Huffman got the head coaching job at Lower Lake last summer, and began assembling a staff of a dozen or so assistants, there was one resource that proved particularly useful – and it wasn’t Craigslist, Monster.com or the classified ads of any newspaper.
Instead, he just reached for his high school yearbook.
Huffman, class of 1997, picked former teammates Justin Gaddy and Ed Fuchs as varsity assistants, Gaddy as his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach and Fuchs as his linebacker and receivers coach.
Then he filled out the staff with more Trojan bluebloods, former Lower Lake students and athletes who shared his love for the school and his passion for the football program.
“The entire coaching staff, both varsity and JVs, is Lower Lake alumni” except one coach, Gaddy writes in an email.
As Trojan assistants over the years, Fuchs, Gaddy and Huffman have coached players who are now coaching with them.
For example, Fuchs coached current varsity assistant Scott Benefield when he played at Lower Lake; and Huffman and Gaddy coached current JV assistant Jeremiah Gamble when he played for the Trojans.
Gaddy and Huffman go all the way back to sixth grade, when they started playing youth football together.
“As little kids, Mike and I would go to the high school and watch Gordon Saddler coach his teams,” Gaddy writes. “Ed Fuchs played high school ball with us and we won multiple championships together.
“Our junior year (1995) was Saddler’s last year as head coach at Lower Lake. We then won a league championship the following year (1996) under Coach Bill Cox,” Gaddy said.
Gaddy recalled how the Trojans won the game that clinched the championship.
“The last three plays … included a huge (defensive) play by Huffman on second down, a deflection on the goal line by Fuchs on third down, and a deflection in the corner of the end zone by me on fourth down.
“To keep it short, we have a lot of wonderful history with this school and community. We all look forward to our future (on the coaching staff).”
Gaddy said the only non-Lower Lake alum on the 2012 staff is varsity assistant Troy Dahneke.
“But we love him as a Lower Lake brother anyway,” Gaddy said.
Rich Mellott can be reached at email@example.com .
|The team listens to coaching staff during a recent practice at Lower Lake High School in Lower Lake, Calif.|