So, when the winningest football coach in CdM history, now in his fourth
season guiding the Laguna Beach Artists, squares off against his former
school for the first time in Thursday night's Pacific Coast League opener
at Newport Harbor High, mixed emotions will not affect his focus.
"You get into this thing with coaching and competition and you don't
really think about it," Holland said. "These (Artists) are my guys, now,
and our whole thought is trying to win that football game."
Holland whose Sea Kings won back-to-back CIF Southern Section Division VI
titles in 1988-89, is not oblivious to the oddity of working the opposite
sideline. But, he believes, the six seasons which have passed since he
last roamed the CdM boundary have spawned enough change to diminish the
emotional baggage he will bear.
"I don't know the kids anymore and, heck, the (CdM) uniforms don't even
look like the ones I had," Holland said. "It is different for me, though,
because I'm coming home. The biggest thing is, I don't want to look
stupid out there. I want our kids to play hard."
Holland does know CdM Coach Dick Freeman, as well as Sea King assistant
Ed Blanton, both of whom coached under him at CdM.
In addition, several Laguna Beach assistants, including Bob Ferraro,
Bernie Terry and Matt Evans, either coached or played at CdM.
Holland, whose 3-2 Artists have already surpassed the number of on-field
victories accomplished by his first three Laguna teams combined (last
year's 3-7 record included a forfeit from Laguna Hills), said he still
has a passion for coaching.
"I'm having as much fun as ever and, in a lot of ways, I'm having more
fun. Hey, I've been to the mountain and I know I can coach. But the thing
about coaching is, you're always learning new things. What kids need and
how to approach them is always changing, which makes coaching a constant
journey and an adventure."
Holland said the kind of athlete he works with at Laguna Beach adds
intrigue to his daily duties.
"Kids are a little different down here," he said. "Everyone used to say
that kids at Corona were laid back. But they're o7 reallyf7 laid back