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JC Football: Pirates altering staff

Football program will hire newcomer, who could be head coach, co-head coach or replace Taylor.

December 20, 2013|By Barry Faulkner
(KEVIN CHANG / Daily…)

Orange Coast College has begun the process of hiring a new football coach, who may be the head coach, share head-coaching duties with current coach Mike Taylor, or merely be a coordinator while being groomed to eventually take over for Taylor, Pirates Athletic Director Michael Sutliff said Friday.

Sutliff said a notice announcing the opening will likely be posted online as quickly as Jan. 2 and it will list the job as a head-coaching position.

"There has been a big debate about how we want to advertise [the position]," Sutliff said. "We are advertising it as a head coach, but we don't have the specifics as to what the staff will look like. We may have two coaches, but we are flying it as a head-coaching position simply because we are looking long term."

Sutliff said Taylor is not being fired and the program's performance on the field — OCC was 3-7 in 2013, has not had a winning season since 2006 and has had just three winning seasons in Taylor's 15-year tenure, during which the Pirates are 62-91 — has nothing to do with bringing on another coach.

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Rather, Sutliff said administrative approval for the position was finally given, prompting the hiring of a new coach. And, with Taylor nearing retirement, Sutliff and Taylor have both expressed a desire to bring in someone who could eventually, if not immediately, assume leadership of the program as head coach.

"First of all, I'm excited to bring a coach on," said Taylor, who has only one assistant, offensive line coach Doug Smith, on staff as a full-time employee of the school. "We've been trying to get an assistant coach hired to come in and help with the football program for a long time."

Taylor said he would prefer the new hire come in as a coordinator, who would be groomed to take over down the road. Taylor said he did not have a specific number of seasons he wanted to coach before retiring.

But Taylor also said he would be open to working with the new hire as a co-head coach, or even as a coordinator working under a newly appointed head man.

"I could handle that," Taylor said of a diminished role on the staff, as soon as next year. "I've been a teacher at Orange Coast since 1991 and this is a great college. Orange Coast has to do what Orange Coast has to do and I would be supportive of whatever direction [Sutlcliff and President Dennis Harkins] went."

Sutliff said Taylor's input will weigh heavily on the ultimate configuration of the staff.

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