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Football: Bishop Amat hires one of its own as head coach

February 8, 2008 |  4:01 pm

Amat Steve Hagerty was named football coach at Bishop Amat Friday, replacing Mark Verti who stepped down last month. The Lancers finished 3-7 and in last place in the Serra League last season.

Hagerty, who played at Bishop Amat before graduating in 1980 and coached at his alma mater in the 1980s and early ’90s, knows all about the program’s tradition.

“I think the tradition is still there.... It’s always going to be there," he said. "There’s been some down years in terms of playoffs and record, but it’s still there."

Hagerty, however, offers no quick fixes.

"I don’t have any magic answers," he said. "I think sometimes it’s just timing. I know the kids want to win and the school wants to win again. Call me a throwback but that’s what its all about for me. It’s about putting myself in a situation to help."

He did just that in 1992, when he left Bishop Amat to take the head coaching postion at Lancaster Paraclete, a program that had not won a game in the previous seven seasons. After guiding the Spirits to three consecutive Southern Section titles, he left Paraclete in 2000.

He was fired as Riverside Poly’s coach in 2006 after four seasons and a record of 10-27-3. In 13 seasons as a head coach, which includes a stint at Riverside North, Hagerty has a record of 88-61-3.

Diamond Ranch Coach Roddy Layton, whose Panthers will square off with the Lancers in Week 5 of the 2008 season, is glad that Bishop Amat reached into it's history for its new coach. However, he says Amat still has a long way to go before being what it once was.

“I don’t think teams in this area are just going to roll over for Amat," he said. "Hopefully, he’ll bring back the tradition. Amat was always the team that represented the area the best.

"I hope they are undefeated and we are undefeated come Week 5. It's make that game that much more important."

Interesting note: Hagerty's mother has worked at Bishop Amat for the past 16 years.

-- Jaime Cardenas