West Hills College has hired ex-Boise State assistant Robert Tucker as its new football coach, with Mark Gritton giving up his interim charge and returning to duties as athletic director and associate dean of student services.
Tucker served as assistant head coach at NCAA Division II University of Sioux Falls for the past four seasons and as the defensive coordinator for a year. He also served as special-teams coordinator and defensive backs coach for the Cougars from 2010-2012.
"I'm excited to be a part of an outstanding team of educators at WHCC," said Tucker. "My sincere gratitude goes out to Dr. Carole Goldsmith and Mark Gritton for entrusting me with the football program. I look forward to recruiting and developing young men who are dedicated to building a first-class program that will be highly competitive on the field and in the classroom.
"I began recruiting the area 14 years ago and have always felt that WHCC is a great place to build a championship program. With residence halls on campus, small class sizes, and a supportive community, WHCC presents an outstanding opportunity for young men who want to focus on achieving their personal, academic, and athletic goals."
Tucker has coached at the NCAA D-I and II levels and in NAIA across a 17-year career. Prior to Sioux Falls, he was at Colorado as the recruiting coordinator for a season and director of football operations for three under then-coach Dan Hawkins. Tucker spent six seasons at Boise State -- one as a defensive graduate assistant and five as the safeties coach and recruiting coordinator.
He was teamwork coordinator at Oregon in 1999, specializing in recruiting. A 1997 graduate of Willamette University in Oregon, he was named an NAIA honorable mention All-American at safety as a senior and spent the first two years of his coaching career at his alma mater.
Tucker has coached a handful of NFL players, including cornerback Chris Carr, safety Quintin Mikell and safety Gerald Alexander. He spends summers coaching the semi-pro Molosses D'Asnieres team of the French Federation of American Football.
He graduated from Grant High-Sacramento in 1993.
"I'm very excited about this hire," Gritton said. "This will have a positive impact on the football program. It adds instant credibility as Coach Tucker has been associated with several successful programs at the four-year level."
Gritton was the interim coach this past fall, when the Falcons went 2-8 overall and 1-3 in the Golden Gate Conference.