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Pinkston out at GV

Grizzlies head football coach resigns after three seasons

Posted: December 11, 2008 10:08 p.m.
Updated: December 12, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Steve Pinkston, right, coaches as a player runs by in 2007. Pinkston resigned Thursday after three years as head football coach at Golden Valley High.

 

Steve Pinkston resigned as head coach of the Golden Valley High School football program Thursday due to philosophical differences with school administration over the direction of the program.

In three seasons, Pinkston’s teams were 5-25 overall and 0-15 in the Foothill League.

The Grizzlies had their best season in 2008, going 3-7, but were still non-competitive in league play.

Golden Valley’s closest margin of defeat in Foothill action over the past three seasons was 21 points, when the team fell to West Ranch 42-21 Nov. 9, 2007.

Pinkston did not return a message left on his cellular phone Thursday.

“Steve took over a very difficult situation, and we’re thankful for the years Steve put in in trying to get the program headed in the right direction,” said Golden Valley athletic director/head boys basketball coach Chris Printz.

Pinkston took over a program already in chaos before the 2006 season after the school’s first head coach, Rob Swartz, led the Grizzlies to a 2-8 record in 2005 – Golden Valley’s inaugural varsity season.

Despite the lack of success, Printz expects considerable interest in the job because of the Foothill League’s reputation for success.

“I think we have to continue with the philosophy of the athletic department in that we want to compete at the highest level. No excuses. We’re not a new school anymore,” Printz said. “We’re going to continue to do what cross country has done. What we think we’re doing with basketball. We’re looking for guys with a track record of success.”

There has been a popular perception that Golden Valley athletics could not get off the ground, based on continued lack of success in many sports.

But a couple of programs within the school have shown that Golden Valley athletes can shine.

Most notably and recently, Rob and Chris Evans took over the cross country program before the 2007 season. In their first year, Golden Valley finished fifth in the Foothill League. This year, the Grizzlies finished 11th in state.

The boys basketball program has advanced to two consecutive CIF-Southern Section playoffs and figures to compete for a league title this season. Printz has been the team’s head coach since 2004 and is the last coach from the school’s initial hires.

With those successes, there are now different expectations and an empowerment for everyone involved in Golden Valley athletics.

Yet football, the valley’s most prominent sport, has lagged behind.

The Golden Valley athletic administration hopes to make a splash with its hire.

The administration has already brought in one coach this year with a solid track record in former Newbury Park baseball head coach Scott Drootin, who won a Marmonte League title in 2005.

But you can take former Hart and current Alemany defensive coordinator Rick Herrington off the list.

Herrington has not been contacted, but he would be a logical choice based on his familiarity with the league and his previously stated desire to become a head coach. He even lost out on the head coaching position at Saugus twice.

“No. There’s no way. No interest of being a head coach,” Herrington said.

Herrington suggested that Hart offensive coordinator Jason D’Autremont might be a good choice, but added that D’Autremont is seeking an assistant principal job and therefore might not be available.

Other local coaches will likely put their names into the hat. Printz said some Ventura County coaches might be interested in the job as well.

After tonight’s CIF-Southern Section Northern Division title game between Moorpark and St. Bonaventure, the last two division champions will have come from Ventura County.

“We’re going to open (the job) up to whoever is the best applicant,” Printz said.

Golden Valley has gone a collective 5-5 in non-league contests the last two seasons, but its opponents’ combined winning percentage over those 10 games was .320.

Printz says he hopes the new coach will beef up the pre-league schedule next year to better prepare players for Foothill competition.

Royal, a Marmonte League team, has already been added to the schedule for next season.

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