May 20, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Santa Ana football coach Rory Schoonmaker resigns to accept job at El Segundo

Rory Schoonmaker leads the Saints in a game last season. (Photo: Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone).

After one season leading the Santa Ana High School football team as head coach, Rory Schoonmaker confirmed Tuesday he has resigned to become the new head coach at El Segundo.

Athletic Director Brian Lillie confirmed the announcement and said that assistant coach Luis Cruz has been named interim coach for Santa Ana.

Schoonmaker, a former offensive coordinator at Santa Ana, led the Saints to a share of the Orange Coast League title last season. Santa Ana was 7-4 overall and 5-1 in league and lost to Santa Monica 33-27 in overtime in the opening round of the CIF Division 9 playoffs.

“I have been offered and accepted the head football coaching position at El Segundo High School and am currently in the on-boarding process with El Segundo Unified School District,” Schoonmaker told OC Sports Zone.

“I have lived in the South Bay area for the past five years and this move will allow me to be a more present husband to my wife and father to my 3-year-old little boy. The El Segundo community has been extremely welcoming and ESUSD has a stellar reputation, I am honored and humbled by the opportunity Principal Gebhart and Dr. Gooden have granted me with ESHS.  

“While it has not been an easy decision, I do feel it is the right one for me and my family.  Santa Ana has been extremely understanding and supportive of my decision to move on. Over the last seven years, Santa Ana High has given me a great opportunity to learn and grow as a teacher and as a coach and build outstanding life-long relationships with players, coaches and staff. 

“Brian Lillie (athletic director), Charlie Tegantvoort (former Saints head coach), Liz Enloe, Jeff Bishop, Louie Macias and really the entire staff here all have worked extremely hard to be accommodating and provide support for me and my family as they have known the distance and commute has always been tough on us.

“I have a high level of respect and gratitude for all of these individuals and the Santa Ana community and I have high hopes, and little doubt, the football program will continue to be successful. I would love to see this team go 14-0 next season …. as long as they aren’t in my division, but we will deal with that if the time comes.” 

Schoonmaker takes over an El Segundo program that was 4-6 overall and 1-4 in the Ocean League last season.

Schoonmaker was previously quarterbacks coach at Santa Ana College and offensive coordinator at Brethren Christian. He also had a stint as quarterbacks coach at Canyon High and had been offensive coordinator at Santa Ana since 2017.

Schoonmaker replaced Charlie TeGantvoort who resigned to take the head coaching job at Marina High School.

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com