San Diego High officials faced a daunting task.
How do you replace a head football coach as successful as Charles James, a man who was 42-29 in seven seasons – 39-12 after a 3-17 start – and won a 5-A state championship in 2018?
Looking for a person with experience and personality, the Cavers named Syd Reed, 39, their new head coach.
“We had some really qualified candidates,” said Paul Coover, San Diego High athletic director. “What impressed us about Syd was his diversity of experience. His passion for the game.
“He asked us as many questions as we asked him. He was serious about this job. That was impressive.”
Reed was 5-5 with Mar Vista last season, his first year as head coach. The Mariners were 0-3 and 3-7 in two seasons before coming.
He played fullback and linebacker for Lincoln and San Diego Mesa. And he played semi-professional football with the San Diego Thunder for five years.
He has worked as a high school football official, he was an assistant coach at the youth level, and he spent four years as an assistant at Clairemont High, three of which as a defensive coordinator.
“This is a huge opportunity,” Reed said. “Coming to San Diego High is a family thing, a community thing.
“I played in Lincoln, but my dad’s family all played at San Diego High, so I’m coming back to the community.”
Reed’s departure, of course, leaves Mar Vista without a coach.
Jessica Neamom, vice director of athletics at Mar Vista, said the Mariners will put the track in place by the end of the week in hopes of designating a replacement for Reed by March.
“I learned a lot at Mar Vista,” said Reed, who replaced Tyler Arciaga there. “I started there in mid-July and we played in August. So it was very rushed.
“I’m replacing a great man in San Diego, but I have a program now, I can run a spring and summer program.
“I come in with a plan. We will commit an offense that best suits our staff. Defensively, we will be aggressive with plans designed to confuse the offense.”
San Diego was 8-3 last season, the final under James with two of the losses to the San Diego Section champions – Scripps Ranch and Patrick Henry. James resigned to pursue advanced college degrees.
“We had a lot of excellent candidates,” said San Diego president Franny Del Carmen. “We are excited about this appointment.”
Changes in coaching
Saint Mark: Derek Stank resigned, replaced by Tom Carroll
Escondido: Jud Bordman resigned. Job is still open.
Patrick Hendrik: JT O’Sullivan has resigned. Job is still open.
San Diego: Charles James resigned and was replaced by Syd Reed.
Sea View: Syd Reed resigned. Job is still open.