The Independent concludes with this article a series on head football coaches in the Clovis Unified School District. Matt Giordano of Buchanan High School is profiled today. Previous articles featured Jim O’Brien of Clovis East High School, George Petrissans of Clovis West High School, Casey Quinn of Clovis North High School and Rich Hammond of Clovis High School; these stories can be found at www.clovisindependent.com.
Matt Giordano started his career in the National Football League under a legendary coach — Tony Dungy.
Giordano said Dungy influenced the style of leadership he wants to bring to the football program at his alma mater. Giordano graduated from Buchanan in 2001 and eventually played nine seasons as a safety in the NFL.
Dungy led an Indianapolis Colts team that included Giordano to victory in the Super Bowl. But Buchanan’s new head coach shared another — more personal — memory of Dungy at the Tri-River Athletic Conference Media Day.
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“About three times he truly raised his voice,” Giordano said. “Coach Dungy wrote a book, ‘Quiet Strength,’ and he really exercised that. He didn’t have to yell. He didn’t have to make fun of somebody. Just by his soft voice, we’d all halt. It’s something I aspire to.”
Giordano joked that his players at Buchanan would attest to the fact he has yelled more than three times this season.
As a player at Buchanan, Giordano was on the Bears’ team that won a Central Section championship in 2000. He went on to play at Fresno City College and the University of California, Berkeley, earning athletic honors at both schools.
Indianapolis drafted Giordano in the fourth round, and he played from 2005 until 2008 for the Colts. In 2007, Indianapolis beat Chicago 29-17 in the Super Bowl.
At the TRAC Media Day, Giordano told another story about Dungy’s routine when the Colts traveled on their team plane. “We’d always say, ‘Coach Dungy is circling the plane.’ We’d get up to a safe altitude, and he’d walk around,” Giordano said. “He’d spend about three minutes with each player, just talking. Just to have that interaction with him, that relationship, you got to see more than just football. You got to see him as a man, how he lived his life.”
After leaving Indianapolis, Giordano played five more seasons in the NFL — in Green Bay, New Orleans, Oakland (two seasons) and St. Louis.
Here’s a look at Giordano and the Bears as the 2016 season is underway.
▪ What it’s like to be head coach at his alma mater: “It’s a surreal opportunity. Buchanan being somewhat of a young school — and really young when I was there — the walls are all the same, the locker room is the same. You get those memories, and I think about my friends all the time when I’m walking through the field house or into the stadium. So I’m very thankful for the opportunity to come back and to share what I’ve learned through life and pour it into these kids.”
▪ Coaching in the TRAC: “Our expectation is second to none. These kids have worked extremely hard with one goal in mind. We’re not being cocky. We don’t say it boastfully. Our confident expectation is that we win the TRAC and the Valley. These guys believe that. I believe in them. They’re fully capable of doing that.”
▪ Buchanan went 4-1 in league and 7-4 overall in 2015. The Bears shared the TRAC title with Clovis High.
Ryan Bacon, Shawn Barron, Joshua Bartel, Chase Bibler, Tanner Blount, Eric Boston, Joshua Burdine, Ardie Burton, Tyler Childress, Joseph Ebright,
Trevor Ervin, Logan Fogg, Keaton Gleason, Gio Guzman, Tyler Hall, Jordan Huddleston, Tavious Hunter, Alex Inouye and Brandon Krick.
Nolan Leforge, Jake Levantino, Jordan Luna, Luke Malloy, James Martinez, Tyler McLelland, Richard Medellin, Michael Mertens, Theo Meyer, Anthony Montalvo, Jason Montgomery, Vinny Ortiz, Tyler Pauls, Caleb Plantaz, Adrian Pond, Zach Presno, Omar Radwan, Jacob Roberts, David Robles, Alec Romero and Jacob Rudolph.
Noah Salcido, Toa Scanlan, Seth Silvia, Isaiah Tigler, Cole Van Wyhe, Nicolas Viau, Noah Washburn. Cornell Washington, Blake Wells, Darien Whitmore, Jack Wilkins, Brandon Williams, Lawrence Williams and Keenan Wolf. (Source: MaxPreps)
BUCHANAN 2016 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Aug. 26 — Hanford at Veterans Memorial Stadium
Sept. 1 — at Bullard
Sept. 9 — Lemoore at Veterans Memorial Stadium
Sept. 16 — at Liberty (Bakersfield)
Sept. 23 — Bye
Sept. 30 — Porterville at Veterans Memorial Stadium
Oct. 7 — at Central
Oct. 14 — Clovis West at Veterans Memorial Stadium
Oct. 21 — Clovis at Veterans Memorial Stadium
Oct. 28 — Clovis East at Veterans Memorial Stadium
Nov. 4 — Clovis North at Lamonica Stadium