Varsity football coach Rudy Alcala will not return to the team next year. Alcala said he was surprised to be let go from program and that he will not have a future at the school in terms of athletics.
“[I] did not do the job as requested,” Alcala said in an email.
Alcala’s removal follows a rough season for the varsity football team, in which the Eagles went 0-10 in the league. The team lost even in games it was projected to win, as was the case in the game against Harker School, where it fell short 10-14.
According to one player who asked to remain anonymous, the team officially had around 30 players, but towards the end of the season the roster dipped below 20. Many players were lost to injuries and poor grades, making it difficult to compete and forcing many players to play both ways. A substantial number of the players were also newcomers and had never played football before.
“A large majority [of the losses were] due to our lack of players, and their lack of experience and skill,” the player said. “I definitely think there were ways in which [Alcala] could have improved, but the entire staff was severely limited in their play-calling and lineups with the numbers and skill of the team.”
Although the season proved to be a challenge, the majority of the players’ morale remained high. After the Eagle’s 0-47 loss to Fremont on November 2, quarterback junior Lambie Lanman was looking on the bright side.
“We committed to go hard the entire way,” Lambie said. “What the team and I got out of this game is the importance of giving no less than a 110%.”
According to the anonymous player, in some games, many players had a strong conviction that the team would lose. He said that towards the end of the season, some players lost all hope while “others were still trying to fire everyone up.”
Alcala said that to improve as a team next fall, the players must work on strength and conditioning. However, Alcala also said that he did not perform his job at the level that he should have, which played a factor in the team’s losses.
“We did not play well together,” Alcala said. “As a head coach I did not get what the team needed out of each player. As a head coach you need to motivate [players].”
According to a recent Mercury News article, athletic coordinator Kim Cave plans to open up the job in the coming days to find a replacement for Alcala. However, Alcala will be remembered as a caring community figure by many of his players.
“It’s definitely rough and sad to see him get fired,” the anonymous player said. “Coach Rudy has been a big part of the school, football program, and community for years…He’s one of few coaches that really cares about the players. He makes sure that kids get academic help if they need it. But obviously the school has a winning and competitive nature and they felt they had to make a change after this season.”