Montgomery taps Marcello Bautista as new football coach

 

The Montgomery High School football team raise their helmets before the start of its game against Rancho Cotate on Friday, October 11, 2013. (Conner Jay / The Press Democrat)

The Montgomery High School football team raise their helmets before the start of its game against Rancho Cotate on Friday, October 11, 2013.
(Conner Jay / The Press Democrat)

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By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Looking close to home, the Montgomery high has selected long-time assistant coach Marcello Bautista to lead the Vikings football program next season.

Bautista, a Montgomery math teacher, was the top pick among a strong field of candidates. Coming off a season as defensive coordinator when Montgomery made a deep run in the section playoffs, Bautista expects the Vikings to be perennial postseason contenders.

“The goal is continue that success,” Bautista said. “The years that we were losing, there wasn’t a lot of motivation in the program. We’ve brought that back and want to build on it.”

Montgomery returned to North Bay League championship contender status and the North Coast Section playoffs after three poor seasons. Leading the Vikings was first-year coach Dean Haskins. Montgomery’s athletic director and long-time baseball coach, Haskins took the football post to ease the transition between Montgomery legend Jason Franci and a new head coach.

“To me, I thought it was a perfect fit,” Haskins said. “Marcello has a good connection with the coaches we brought on last year. It will create some consistency.”

Montgomery’s defensive coordinator the past five seasons, Bautista was named North Bay League assistant coach of the year following the Vikings turnaround campaign.

The Los Angeles County native — Bell Gardens — has a lengthy football resume as a player and a coach.

On the field, Bautista was a linebacker at West Hills Community College and at Sonoma State.

Bautista, 43, began coaching in the prep ranks for two seasons at Santa Rosa High while completing his teaching credential at Sonoma State. He led the Elsie Allen program for three years after assisting for the Lobos football team three seasons.

He moved over to Montgomery in 2003 as a teacher and became one of Franci’s assistants. Bautista also coached golf at both Elsie Allen and Montgomery.

“I stress structure, discipline and motivation. I’ve had a good rapport with players in years past,” Bautista said.

Off the football field, Bautista as a teacher can put in the time needed to keep players on track in the classroom as well as preparing student athletes for football.

“It’s a big time commitment and having someone being on campus makes it easier to invest the time to run a successful program,” Haskins said. “You can connect with kids on a daily basis. You hold them accountable with attendance and school work. You can scour the campus and find those four or five kids that might be on the fence about football.”

Among his strengths as a coach is directing Montgomery’s offseason strength and speed training.

“He has strong knowledge of what it takes. He’s a smart football coach,” Haskins said.

What the Vikings coach also grasps is Montgomery’s longtime success in football and expectations that the program remains among the regions’ best.

Reaching the section playoffs is the goal each season.

“If you’re practicing on Thanksgiving that’s always a good feeling,” Bautista said. “Players have got to have the desire, dedication and determination.”

You can reach Staff Writer Michael Coit at 521-5470 or mike.coit@pressdemocrat.com.

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