May 24, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Uni football coach Chris Hernandez resigns and will move with his family to South Dakota

University High football coach Chris Hernandez Friday he has resigned. (File photo Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone)

University High football coach Chris Hernandez said Friday night he has resigned as the Trojans head coach after one full season and a partial abbreviated schedule. The Trojans were 0-10 in 2019, his first full season.

The Trojans cancelled their varsity season in the abbreviated spring season in March after two losses due to injuries.

No replacement has been made.

“My wife and I had planned when we retired in 20 something years to move there,” he said Friday night. “It was between South Dakota and a few other states. But during the pandemic, we had more time than ever to talk and really talk about the way things were going and we just felt like, ‘what are we waiting for?’ We said, ‘let’s just go now. Why do we want to wait that long to start living the life we want?

“We have two young boys, an 8-year-old and a 4-year-old and we’re thinking and looking where the market is right now and thinking they’re never going to be able to afford a home here. Probably around August is when we were like, ‘we’re really doing this.'”

Hernandez, 35, said his plan was to coach University through a regular 2020 season, but the coronavirus pandemic postponed the season until March. Hernandez came to University after being an assistant coach at Santiago High in Corona. The University job was his first head coaching position.

Hernandez said he has been able to get a teaching job in South Dakota and expects to be coaching high school football.

Hernandez made the announcement Friday night at the end of the year recognition event.

“My family and I will be leaving California at the end of the school year and will be moving to the great state of South Dakota,” Hernandez said in a letter to the families of the players.

“Our vision has always been to leave California years down the road when we retired, but during the pandemic, we came to the conclusion that we don’t want to wait more than 20 years to to start living out that vision. We are committed to raising our two sons in a state we love and will hopefully live in until we are called home.

“While we are excited for our new adventure, I am disappointed that I will not be around to see the players we invested in reach their ultimate goals. I have always believed that the success of a team will be seen years after they graduate from high school. These are young men at Uni who have grown into real men during my time there and that is why I coach.”

Hernandez thanked the administrators at University High.

Hernandez said there is potential at Uni.

“I really do believe the seniors really have a group of guys who are strong and have a good core group and they understand the culture that I was trying to create,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said he will miss his players.

“I think they were surprised, they were shocked, we hugged,” he said. “I told them I loved them, that’s something I said from day one. I’m going to miss them and I’m going to root for them.”

Hernandez said he will continue to teach at University through this semester and will lead the Trojans in the weight room in preparation for next season.

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