Santa Monica High has begun searching for a new head football coach by advertising the position on the CIF website. That’s the way most high schools in Southern California begin to fill an open post.
In the ad, the position is described in the category of a walk-on coach, i.e., one with teaching duties as well, and Athletic Director Norm Lacy is listed as the contact person.
The website posting follows a rampant, unconfirmed rumor in the local football community that Samohi head coach Zach Cuda and his brother, defensive coordinator Conrad Cuda, have resigned. Calls to the Cudas and Mr. Lacy Sunday and Monday have not been returned.
It is not known if the resignations were voluntary or forced, but it is known that Zach Cuda worked in 2008 on a one-year contract.­
The Vikings had an 8-3 record and qualified for the CIF playoffs. However, in Zach Cuda’s three years as head coach, Culver City has won the Ocean League championship each time, and Samohi didn’t win a single playoff game.
In this season’s game at Corsair Field, Samohi had a 28-14 lead in the fourth quarter, but Culver City then scored three consecutive touchdowns to win, 35-28.
Samohi also lost to Beverly Hills and became the league’s third place team. The Vikings then lost their first-round playoff game to Warren High of Downey.
Anticipating criticism for the third place finish, Zach Cuda told the Mirror after the season he believed the team overachieved this year following the graduation of several key players from the 2007 squad, including star quarterback Ryan Katz.
The Vikings were also forced to deal with several key injuries, including the loss of running back Vince Lawrence for most of the season with a broken collarbone.
Lacy coached Samohi to its last CIF championship in 2001 before giving up the job. He continued to coach the school’s golf team and then became athletic director.