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Football: Jon Mack will be back at Crespi

November 21, 2012 |  8:11 am

Encino Crespi held its football awards banquet Tuesday night, and the principal announced that Jon Mack will be returning as head coach in 2013.

Was that news? Unfortunately, it was, because rumors of Mack's pending departure had reached the point of silliness, and I'm not going to repeat all the scenarios being discussed.

His team went 8-2 and should have made the Pac-5 playoffs, but the Celts didn't receive an at-large berth and suffered the consequences of close losses to Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and La Puente Bishop Amat.

It meant that Crespi didn't make the playoffs for consecutive seasons. Some alumni must have thought that meant an immediate firing, considering that Mack's predecessor, Jeremiah Ross, lost his job after missing the playoffs for two straight years. (There were supposedly other issues, but if Ross had made the playoffs, do you think he'd still be coaching?)

That has become the unfortunate danger point between staying and leaving. Orange Lutheran made a change after not making the playoffs for two consecutive seasons last year. 

But Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, one of the few private schools that doesn't seem to get rid of coaches simply because of losses, invited Kevin Rooney back after failing to make the playoffs for two consecutive years. Notre Dame made it to the Pac-5 quarterfinals and gave St. John Bosco a big scare. Crespi has had at least eight coaching changes during Rooney's tenure.

Mater Dei, which failed to make the playoffs last season, is in the semifinals. Bruce Rollinson survived last year's whining from alumni.

So maybe there's a lesson in there somewhere that not every coaching decision should be made based solely on winning. This is high school sports, after all, though it's pretty clear that winning matters.

-- Eric Sondheimer