Bell-Jeff Names Fauria New Football Coach, AD!

May 14, 2013 by  

Coach-lanceThe Bellarmine-Jefferson High administration was looking for a new football coach and athletic director with expertise, experience and a vision to help build the school’s sports programs.

The school seems to have found all those attributes in Lance Fauria, who has hired Wednesday evening by Bell-Jeff.  Fauria, who was an assistant at Oxy last season, comes to school with wealth of football experience, as player, coach.

“We’re really happy to have Lance on board here and we’re hoping that he is going to be able to continue to move our football program forward,” Bell-Jeff Principal John Matheus said. “We are getting a man here who has an awful lot of experience. He is a guy who thinks more than just in terms of football, and he is a person who believes in very strong character skills and he knows our mission as a Catholic school.

Fauria said, although having a successful football program at Bell-Jeff is important, he realizes he also has other obligations to the athletes of the school.

“We know we’re not going to get a lot of Division I kids at Bell-Jeff,” he said. “So, what’s more important is that we’re preparing these kids to go on to college, for them to go on to be good husbands and good fathers, as well as leaders in out community. Those are our goals, really.”

Fauria comes to Bell-Jeff with a wealth of football experience. Last season, he was an assistant coach at Occidental College under then-coach Bill Redell. Fauria played one season for Redell at Crespi High, where he was an All-American tight end and the Del Rey League Lineman of the Year, graduating in 1983.

“It was a great opportunity to be an assistant for coach Redell, who was my coach in high school,” Fauria said of Redell, who came to Oxy after making Oaks Christian a football powerhouse. “I had coached against him over the years and I thought it would be a great chance for me to learn from him by being one of his coaches.”

Fauria knows what it takes to be a successful athlete. After high school, he earned a scholarship to the University of Washington where he was a member of three bowl teams. He played for the 1985 Huskies team went 11-1 and finished No. 2 in the nation.

After knee injuries shortened his career, Fauria enjoyed head coaching stints at Los Angeles Baptist, Santa Maria St. Joseph and Montclair Prep. He was also an assistant at Crespi, Chaminade, Central Catholic (Texas) and Ingram (Washington).

“He has been around football for many years and he knows what it takes to run a successful program,” Matheus said of Fauria.

Football runs in the Fauria family. His younger brother, Quinn, was a fullback at Northern Arizona and another younger brother, Christian, played in the NFL, winning two Super Bowls as the starting tight end for the New England Patriots.

Fauria takes over at Bell-Jeff for outgoing football coach and athletic director David Machuca, who accepted the job as offensive coordinator under John Rome at Glendale Community College.

Last season, Bell-Jeff had a 4-7 record (2-2 in Santa Fe League). The Guards qualified for the CIF Southern Section Division Northeast playoffs, losing to No. 2 Rio Hondo Prep, 57-6. Rio Hondo Prep went on to win the division title.

It was the first time the Guards qualified for the postseason in three years.

Bell-Jeff struggled the previous two seasons before Machuca’s arrival, finishing last in the Santa Fe League both years. The Guards went 2-8 in 2011 and were 5-15 (0-8 in league) in the two years.

With the school’s enrollment dropping in recent years, Fauria said he is ready to face what challenges might arise at Bell-Jeff.

“I know there are going to be challenges,” said Fauria, who plans to talk with the Guards players next week. “It’ not an easy job and it’s even harder at small schools where enrollment is low and you have kids playing multiple sports. We just need to encourage kids to come out for the program and try to find the athletes who want to play.

“Bell-Jeff has been around for almost 60 years and the school has a real football tradition. Bell-Jeff has been around long before I got here and I’m convinced it will be around a lot longer after I leave.

By Jeff Tully,

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