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Del Norte chooses Coleman

02/14/2015, 9:58am PST
By John Maffei

Nighthawks tab former Oceanside defensive coordinator as head football coach


Del Norte's new head football coach Patrick Coleman served as defensive coordinator at Oceanside for six seasons.

Del Norte High had nearly 180 applicants for its vacant head football coaching position.

Turns out the best man for the job was already on campus.

Late Friday, Nighthawks Athletic Director Mike Giaime announced Patrick Coleman had been named to replace Leigh Cole.

Coleman, an art teacher at Del Norte, didn't coach last season, but has 16 years experience.

He started his coaching career in 1997 at Madison, then moved over to Mira Mesa.

He was the head coach at University City from 2005-2007, going 14-17 in three seasons with a 6-5 finish in 2006.

In 2008, Coleman joined John Carroll's staff at Oceanside where he served as defensive coordinator for six seasons, helping the Pirates to four San Diego section championships and a state title.

"I searched out this job when Del Norte first opened (in 2010), but there was a hiring freeze and it didn't work pout," said Coleman.

"But I liked the vision of the school and the Poway Unified District. So I always kept an eye on the school."

Coleman coached and taught art at Oceanside, but said he was caught up nearly every year in the teaching layoff cycle.

So he applied for a job in the Poway district, got the job and was assigned to Del Norte.

The father of one, Coleman and his wife own a copy business and have a home in Del Sur, minutes from school.

"Not coaching last year, I realized the game is in my blood," Coleman said. "I went to Oceanside games, went to Del Norte games, and I missed coaching. I realized my passion was teaching and coaching.

"I was able to refocus and planned to be ready for the next opportunity."

Cole left Del Norte after four seasons, going 21-25. He is now an assistant coach at St. Augustine. Del Norte defensive back Quenton Meeks signed a letter of intent to play next season at Stanford.

Current Hoover coach Jerry Ralph was the Nighthawks head man the first season, going 2-8.

"Jerry and Leigh did a great job building this program," Coleman said. I realize how hard it is to get a coaching job in North County.

"I cherish my time at Oceanside, working with John Carroll. But this is a totally different deal.

"Oceanside has great people and kids, 105 years of tradition. Del Norte has great people and kids, but really is brand new.

"I want to build on my experience with John Carroll and build tradition here."

Coleman played high school ball in Colorado and was recruited to play at SMU. But that was 1986 and the Mustangs were hit with the death penalty by the NCAA.

He then played football and lacrosse at Beloit College in Wisconsin.

"We're confident Patrick Coleman will be a great ambassador and leader for our football program," Giaime said. "We're thrilled to have him leading the Nighthawks and look forward to continuing to develop a competitive program."

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