New JSerra coach Victor Santa Cruz embraces high expectations

JSerra may have come up with Football Coach of the Year Victor Santa Cruz was recruited to become the new Lions head coach.

The 50-year-old was defensive coordinator in Hawaii after 14 seasons as Azusa Pacific’s leading manager with an 84-69 record. In the 1990s, he coached high school football at Oceanside for five years and then progressed to the collegiate ranks. Now he is ready to face the high expectations of coaching in the Trinity League.

He was interviewed on Friday Night Live about his vision for JSerra.

Why practice high school football again?

“I’m excited to be back in high school. I started my career by working for Herb Meyer at Oceanside for five years. I always thought I would stay there, but then the opportunity opened up at Azusa Pacific. I’m about the chance to compete, the chance to train and make a difference, and to help people grow in the game, not just football, but socially, academically and spiritually. “

What is your crime about?

“I have a real history as an offense-defense guy, but if you look at my teams at Azusa, we broke all offensive records. We will make sure we use our athletes and their strengths. I’d be a fool to shove a playbook down the throat of a squad that doesn’t match talent-wise. We’re still learning.”

The Trinity League is like a college league. What is your vision for JSerra?

“It was really a deal for me because I’m competitive. I want to play football that counts. What I really loved about Trinity League is that you have to do your best every week. What a challenge. And the vision for us is to build champions while aiming for championships. First and foremost, who my players become through the program is important. But when you build the champion man, how he thinks, how he works, then the fruit of winning emerges. The orange tree in the backyard doesn’t say, ‘Please produce oranges.’ it’s a tree It has deep roots. The fruit is a by-product of who she is. We build the championship people and then you watch the winners come.

Academic learning is important to you.

“It’s important. I’m the first in my entire bloodline to graduate from college and I can see the impact of being a first-generation college student, what it means for your own family. You have to Take responsibility for learning.”

A lot has changed since you last trained in high school. Parents are different, expectations are different, transfers are different. How do you adapt?

“College prepared me well for this opportunity. You have high expectations. They have multiple goals and I get players and parents dream of going to college. There are extremely high expectations, and high expectations are outstanding because you want to meet high standards. False expectations or expectations that are unrealistic or judge at the wrong time are frustrations because they hamper a player’s development and spoil an anxious environment for parents. I’m trying to bring some clarity to what’s going on so that we can all navigate this new world of recruiting, high school athletics and college athletics. The college football world has changed radically in the last three years, and we’re still seeing the apples fall off in random ways. As we sort this out, I hope that as we leave the college ranks I can help bring some clarity and perspective to all that is happening so that we can move forward and not let emotions hijack a beautiful process.”

https://www.latimes.com/sports/highschool/story/2023-01-24/jserra-football-coach-victor-santa-cruz-trinity-league New JSerra coach Victor Santa Cruz embraces high expectations

Emma Bowman

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