Newly minted Servite head football coach Scott Meyer is pulling double duties these days – and loving it.
Meyer, who was announced as the Friars head man in mid-February has been spending his mornings at Corona del Mar High School, where he coached football for the past four years and teaches government and economics, then trekking 20 miles north to Servite’s campus in Anaheim, where he has been assembling a new coaching staff, getting to know his players and overseeing speed and weight-lifting drills. The team intends to begin its spring drills in May.
Despite the hectic schedule, the 50-year-old coach says Servite has all a high school coach could want in a program.
“It has really great academics and athletics, and there’s so much tradition,” says Meyer, a native of Long Beach. “And of course the ability to compete in the Trinity League.”
Servite Athletic Director Alan Clinton, who was unavailable for comment while coaching the school’s wrestling team, e-mailed responses to questions about his new hire.
“Coach Meyer is the total package. He had all the qualities we needed in a head coach, the right amount of coaching experience, an understanding of the game and a respect for the culture and tradition already established here at Servite.”
The Trinity League has produced three of the last five Pac-5 Division champions and is considered by most observers as one of the toughest leagues in the country.
Meyer brings a sterling record to the Anaheim School and the rugged Pac-5. In his four years with the Sea Kings at Corona del Mar, Meyer won a CIF State Division III title and three Southern Section titles. In the process he amassed a 50-6 record, 19-1 in the Pacific Coast League, at one point having 30 consecutive victories, bookending a 16-0 season in 2013. Last year, his school was 10-2 overall, losing to Trabuco Hills and short-circuiting an attempt at a fourth straight section title.
By contrast, the past few seasons have been unusually tough sledding for Servite, which has not had a winning season since 2012 and is onto its third coach since 2013. Troy Thomas, who led the Friars to a Pac 5 State Division II title in 2009, seven league titles and a 75-25 record, returned to his alma mater, Crespi, after the 2012 season.
Former Servite player A.J. Gass was 10-13 in two seasons, including 1-4 in league in 2014, before moving to Bakersfield.
The new Servite coach says he feels a special responsibility to the seniors on the team to get the school back to its former status. And he doesn’t plan to waste any time or engage in a slow rebuilding process.
“Were going to try to get things back as fast as we can,” Meyer says. “Some of these kids are on their third coach and they deserve it.”
Clinton wrote that he believed Servite had many of the ingredients for Meyer to make a quick turnaround.
“We believe he has all tools necessary to be successful at Servite; to build on the foundation already set and continue to push our student-athletes to reach their full potential.” Clinton wrote, noting that Meyer rose above a deep and talented group of applicants.
Meyer, 50, has been coaching for 23 years, beginning as a graduate assistant at the University of Utah. Prior to joining Corona del Mar, Meyer was the head coach at Jordan High School in Long Beach, and before that he had offensive and defensive coordinator stints at Lakewood High, Long Beach Wilson and St. Anthony High.
The Long Beach Wilson graduate also has won numerous coach of the year awards. Maybe as impressive as the victory totals have been the classroom performances of his players. During the magical 2013 season the Sea Kings team members maintained a 3.3 grade point average to win a CIF Academic Team championship.
Meyer says academic excellence is important.
“For most of the kids, [academics] is what will carry them on, and we work hard at that,” Meyer says.
To Clinton, the melding of academics and faith are as integral to sports as wins and losses.
“If you don’t create the whole young man you are going to have a difficult time really being successful year after year, and that is what we are looking to do,” Clinton wrote. “Wins and losses is not the final goal, it’s the young men being prepared to be successful in the future.”
The coach says classroom success can go hand-in-hand with athletic achievement.