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Vista Panthers name football coach

01/14/2016, 7:26pm PST
By John Maffei

New hire coincides with an overhaul of Dick Haines Stadium

Dave Bottom, who coached the past three seasons at Everett Alvarez High in Salinas, will take over the Vista football program.

With several top football head coaching jobs open at high schools in San Diego, Dave Bottom had to make some hard decisions.

He chose not to apply at Helix and El Camino and instead went after the Vista job.

Thursday, Vista Principal Anthony Barela announced Bottom is the new coach of the Panthers.

Bottom, 36, comes to Vista from Everett Alvarez High in Salinas, where he took a strife-torn team that was 0-10 in 2012 and finished 11-1 in 2013.

The Eagles were 16-82-2 in the 10 years before Bottom arrived.

In three seasons at Alvarez, Bottom was 23-12.

“The Vista job is the one I wanted,” Bottom said. “Alvarez has some great people, people who were focused on turning the program around. I see the same thing at Vista.”

Bottom, who was one of six coaches interviewed at Vista, replaces Dan Williams, who was 77-61-2 in 12 seasons, winning the San Diego Section Division I title in 2010.

But the Panthers were 4-7 last season and 14-29 the last four years.

Bottom played at Chapman College and started his coaching career at Los Amigos in Orange County. He was an assistant at Capistrano Valley for four seasons and spent one season as an assistant at Torrey Pines, where he met former Falcons coach Ed Burke.

Bottom was the head coach at Clairemont in San Diego for two seasons, going 4-16 in 2010-11, and hired Burke on his staff.

Like Burke, Bottom is a wing-T guy.

“The wing-T is what you make it,” Bottom said.

“If you move one of the receivers out, you’re in a spread.

“If you keep a tight end in, you’re in the wing-T. So we’ll adapt to the players we have.”

Vista will complete an overhaul of Dick Haines Stadium in May. It includes new seating, a pressbox, a snack bar, restrooms and a plaza.

“Dave’s character is what stood out,” Barela said. “We had some great candidates, but what he was able to do at his old school was exciting. We see him as someone who can groom young men.

“We took this hire seriously because we want to have him for a while.”

Among other football head coach openings around the county:

Westview has closed applications with nine candidates submitting paperwork. School officials plan to interview next week with a final decision around Feb. 1.

Escondido concluded its paper screening Monday and conducted interviews Friday. The Cougars could make a decision on a coach by next week.

El Camino closes applications Friday and hopes to make a decision by Feb. 1.

Helix had 22 applicants to replace Troy Starr. The Highlanders hope to name a new coach by mid-February.

La Jolla and Francis Parker also have open head football jobs.

Rancho Buena Vista filled its football position, naming Joe Meyer head coach.

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