the CIF Southern Section finals the last four years, including titles
last spring (Division I) and 1998 (Division III).
His three-year tenure with the CdM girls program includes a 1997
Southern Section crown in Division III-AA.
Previous coaching stops at Foothill High, Golden West College and The
Bishop's School in La Jolla also include a string of league titles and
two CIF San Diego Section title-match appearances.
Then there was his playing career at Estancia High and GWC, where he
helped the Eagles and Rustlers to two section and two state runner-up
Conti made the team at San Diego State, but elected not to compete due
to work commitments.
Though supremely competitive and working toward a teaching career,
Conti didn't initially target coaching as part of his future.
But, for the first of many occasions, fate intervened.
"I was visiting some friends in Santa Barbara and one of their
girlfriends was varsity girls coach at The Bishop's," Conti recalled.
"Her junior varsity coach had just resigned, eight games into the season,
and they needed a replacement. The Monday after I drove back from Santa
Barbara, I went straight to practice and I was the JV coach.
"I knew about volleyball from having played, but I look back now and
realize I didn't know what the heck I was doing as a coach."
Conti quickly found his way, took over the small private school's
girls varsity program two years later and led it to its first section
title match in his first season.
But, when a his part-time teaching contract wasn't renewed, Conti
returned to Orange County, went back to school to finish off work toward
a credential, and became the men's assistant coach at GWC.
Then, in 1992, he became walk-on girls varsity coach at Foothill and
later guided the Knights' boys, as well.
While in the process of applying for the CdM boys opening, Conti was
told he had landed a teaching job at Foothill, so he planned to remain
But, after returning from a summer vacation, he was informed the
teaching job was no longer available.
Soon after that, CdM Athletic Director Jerry Jelnick called to