The search is over for Orange Coach College’s new head football coach. After a stint as the interim coach last season, Joel “Bubba” Gonzalez has been named the permanent head coach of the Pirates.
As the temporary coach last season, Gonzalez posted a 1-9 record. After the season ended, he went into the offseason preparing the men for next season, even if he would not be the coach. Even with the poor record, he gained the respect of players, coaching staff and administrators on campus.
"I am very excited for the future of Coast football under the leadership of Coach Gonzalez," Athletics Director Jason Kehler said. "The groundwork that Bubba laid last season is just the beginning of what our football program can be. His focus on mentorship, student success, and development of the student-athlete as a whole are just a few of the traits that set Bubba apart. Combine that with his experience in football, and I truly believe that the Pirates will be a team on the rise."
Before Gonzalez started as head coach, he was the defensive coach for the Pirates for two seasons. He pushed nine defensive linemen to earn NCAA and NAIA scholarships.
Dean of Kinesiology and Athletics Michael Sutcliff says Gonzalez brings his strong leadership and a clear vision to establish the foundation of success at OCC.
The Pirate football program has won nine conference titles and two national championships in its history, but it's a program that is in rebuilding mode and that's a task that Gonzalez will not shy away from.
Before OCC, Gonzalez got his coaching start at Villa Park High School in 2009 as the assistant offensive line coach.
Gonzalez moved to his alma mater, Mater Dei, working on both sides of the ball as offensive and defensive coach. He helped the Monarchs reach the CIF playoffs five out of six seasons. At Mater Dei he mentored students and was able to help them reach goals of playing football in college.
After getting a taste of things last year, Gonzalez sees a bright future with OCC football, but knows that Rome wasn't built in a day.
"It's definitely coming together and I like the direction we are headed," Gonzalez said. "I'm also realistic and I know we are not where we need to be right now, but we will get there. We are constantly re-evaluating things and we will bring in the right coaches to keep pushing this program in the right direction.