The last three football coaches at St. Monica combined for one win and 37 losses. Now Larry Muno has been hired to upgrade the program.
Muno inherits a one-game winning streak. St. Monica defeated Salesian, 21-18 to complete the 2008 season, but then Coach Sean Ritter was fired.
Jason Strouse and Chris Caminiti also coached St. Monica during its 37-game losing streak that spanned four seasons and was the longest of any high school in California. The talent level was thin and the consensus was that better players, not better coaches, were required.
St. Monica doesn’t permit recruiting strictly for athletic purposes, so what’s the solution? Apparently the new approach is to bring in someone who’s worked with junior high youngsters who have yet to choose a high school.
In recent years Muno has been CYO Director for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, working with junior high and elementary school athletics, and he is expected to remain in that position and be a walk-on coach at St. Monica. By contrasr Ritter was a full-time school employee.
Muno considers himself a student of the spread offense, and intends to install it at St. Monica. He’s also bringing in an assistant coach, Christian Gascou.
“I am looking forward to using my significant experience in the area of management to help build a successful staff and run an efficient spread offense,” Muno said.
Muno received a football scholarship to Rutgers, and was a linebacker there. He has a degree in sports management and kinesiology and worked for the LA Rams before the team moved to St, Louis. His father is a sports agent.
Last season, at Ritter’s invitation, legendary Westside coaches Norm Lacy and Tebb Kusserow worked with the St. Monica team for a week and installed the game plan. Although the Mariners lost a close game Lacy saw some positives.
“It was a pleasure working with those young men,” he said. “They truly wanted to learn.
“Some losses during their streak were one-sided but the team was more competitive last season. They were in most games and weren’t far away from winning a few more.”
St. Monica enjoyed considerable football success in the past and Lacy coached the 1998 team to the only CIF football championship in school history. He then moved to Santa Monica High and won another CIF champiomship there, the first for theVikings since Kusserow’s 1980 team.
Muno’s 2009 team usn’t expected to be anywhere close to a championship, but some improvement would be a good start for him.