Recently named head football coach at Malibu High, Ray Humphrey plunged into his new job as spring practice began.
In quieter moments, however, he reflected on his last 12 years as an assistant coach at Santa Monica High in football, basketball and track.
Mostly about the head coaches he aided.
“Daniel Escelera brought me to Samohi and I have so much to thank him for,’’ said Humphrey.
“Then Carter Paysinger became head football coach. In his second season I took a year off and then Norm Lacy was brought in to coach the team. I asked to be put back on the staff. I said I want to learn from that man.’’
Humphrey was on the football staff when Lacy’s 2001 team led by James Cooper and Charles Gordon won the CIF championship.
“I primarily worked with the freshman team that season but being on the varsity staff, being on the sideline for every game ranks as the number one highlight of my 12 Samohi years,’’ he said.
Escelera has been an assistant at SMC in recent years, and Paysinger is now head coach at Beverly Hills High. Lacy retired as Samohi football coach two seasons ago. He is now a teacher at the school and coaches the golf team.
Humphrey went on to assist James Hecht with the varsity basketball program.
“He taught me a lot in four years,’’ said Hecht. “He gets the best out of players’ talent, gets them to work hard together.’’
Humphrey reserves some of his highest praise for track coach Pat Cady.
“He’s awesome,’’ said Humphrey. “He cares so much. I would do anything for any of them, but especially for him.’’
Humphrey has trained well to be a head coach. His experience also includes Pop Warner football with the Westside Bruins and guiding a semi-pro team, the Santa Monica Sharks.He takes over a Malibu High team that went 10-2 last season, but suffered heavy graduation losses.