High School Sports

Coast Union High will let football coach Clements go

After four seasons as the head varsity football coach at Coast Union, David Clements will not be back in the same capacity next year, a school official confirmed Sunday.

“We’ve just decided to go in a different direction with the football program for the future,” Broncos athletic director Bill Clough said.

The decision comes just two weeks after Coast Union ended a 1-9 campaign, the worst under Clements since he arrived in Cambria in 2006. His overall record stands at 16-26 — just 3-17 in the past two seasons — but Clements did take the Broncos to the playoffs in each of his first two years.

Clements said he is proud of the way his teams played, particularly when they were outnumbered.

The Coast Union roster seemed to teeter on the brink of the teens the past few years, and some players played every snap on offense, defense and special teams.

“The courage that that takes to line up week in and week out to do that,” Clements said, “that was a real rewarding experience to watch kids who played hard no matter the circumstances every game.

“I mean that. Regardless of anything else, it’s inspiring to coach guys that really want to play.”

Clough said all athletic coaches at Coast Union work on year-to-year contracts, and each is evaluated after every season. He declined to further specify why Clements was not being renewed.

Although Clements will remain a full-time English teacher at the school, he declined to comment on his own coaching future or the reasoning behind a split that appears as amicable as can be expected.

Prior to arriving at Coast Union, Clements was an assistant at El Diamante in Visalia and served as the defensive coordinator at Lemoore for six years before that.

Clements began his head coaching career with a 41-14 win over Mission Prep in his Broncos debut, and his coaching highlights include a 63-13 win over Fresno Christian that same year when running back T.J. Nelson set the Central Section single-game rushing record with 451 yards and five touchdowns on 31 carries.

The record was broken the following week.

Clough said there is no current timetable for getting a new coach in place for the Central Section Division V program, which saw its participation dwindle so much this season that it failed to field a junior varsity team.

“This is the first time we haven’t had a J.V. team ever really,” said Clough, who’s spent the past 25 years teaching at Coast Union and began his career with the Broncos coaching 8-man football. “We’re hoping that is the exception, not the rule. We’re still planning to have a J.V. team next year. Hopefully, more kids come out.”

Clough said there has been no talk of the 11-man program returning to the 8-man level. Coast Union will be moving to the Southern Section next season, but the football team will remain in its current classification.