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Coaches Poumele, Plash step down

12/16/2013, 12:02pm PST
By John Maffei

El Camino, Orange Glen seeking new leaders for football programs.

Pulu Poumele was head coach at El Camino for four seasons.

Two veteran North County high school football coaches - Pulu Poumele at El Camino and Kris Plash at Orange Glen - have stepped down.

Poumele, a longtime assistant at Oceanside, was the head coach at San Marcos before taking the El Camino job four years ago.

"I feel we were doing some good things here, but there was a difference in philosophy," Poumele said. "This is a good school with good kids.

"I'm looking into some other things. It was just time to move on."

He led the Wildcats to a 5-7 finish this season and was 21-26 over his four years.

El Camino, however, was 2-4 in the playoffs in Poumele's tenure, losing to San Pasqual in the quarterfinals each of the last two seasons.

"This is a program with eight CIF championships, so expectations are high," said El Camino Athletic Director Sean Helgesen. "Pulu is a high-quality guy and a good football coach. "But we felt we needed a shot in the arm to help us be highly successful."

Helgsen said the holidays will hurt finding a replacement in a timely manner. But he hopes to have a new coach by mid-February.

"We're looking for someone with head-coaching experience or someone who has been a long-time coordinator" Helgsen said. "We also want someone who is organized and with a background in logistics."

With changing demographics in Escondido, Plash had a tough time at Orange Glen.

The Patriots were 2-8 this season and 19-51-1 in his seven seasons.

They made the playoffs twice, losing to Hilltop in 2012 and Scripps Ranch in 2009 in the first round.

"I had a long conversation with my family, and we felt it was best to step aside and let someone with new ideas and energy have a chance," Plash said.

"Honestly, I loved every second of being a head coach. The experience I gained has been priceless and feel I'll be 100 times a better coach wherever I land.

"I was thrown into the fire against difficult odds and feel we've helped the program advance.

"Despite the record, I feel we've done good things at Orange Glen."

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