Tony Caviglia has spent 17 seasons as Fresno City College’s football coach.
Before that, he coached three years at Chabot and when told by longtime friend and assistant Rick Scheidt that the Rams’ job was open, he didn’t think twice about applying.
“I could tell he was highly competitive,” Scheidt said. “I wanted someone like him to take over this program – this school has definitely been blessed to have him lead the FCC football program.”
All that Caviglia has done since his hiring in 1999 is win eight conference titles, coach more than 1,200 players while annually averaging nearly 20 scholarships awarded and eight victories per season.
But a win Saturday would bring another milestone moment. Caviglia, at 136-50, needs one more to pass Clare Slaughter as the program’s all-time winningest coach.
Fresno City (6-4) hosts Sierra (5-5) at 1 p.m. in the State Center Bowl at Ratcliffe Stadium. It’s part of a big weekend for the college, which also is hosting men’s and women’s soccer regional matches and the state cross country championships.
“I just wanted to put a product on the field that Fresno City College can be proud of,” Caviglia said of his run. “Help the kids get on with their education and get an opportunity to play football.”
Those players include Roc Green, who transferred to Oregon State after the 2004 season.
Without Coach C, I would not have reached my full potential.
ex-Fresno City and Oregon State defensive back Roc Green on Rams coach Tony Caviglia
“Coach C has been a great coach over the years and he is well deserving for the hard work that he has put in over the years,” Green said “His program for me was great and it helped me develop into the best player I possibly could be. Without Coach C, I would not have reached my full potential. I appreciate Coach C, and I’m very happy for him.”
Former Rams safety Cameron Worrell echoed Green’s sentiment.
“He gave me a second chance like he does a lot of players and taught me what it took to do things the right way,” said Worrell, who transferred to Fresno State after the 2000 season and went on to play for Chicago and Miami in the NFL. “I owe a lot of my success to the things I learned the one year I played for him. He really cared about me and wanted me to do great things but he always told me what I needed to hear and not what I wanted to hear.”
In addition to Worrell, other notable players coached by Caviglia to go on to the NFL are Maurice Morris (Detroit/Seattle), Zac Diles (Cleveland/Houston/Tennessee/Indianapolis/Tampa Bay) and Matt Giordano (St. Louis/Oakland/New Orleans/Green Bay/Indianapolis).
Playing for Coach C and FCC is one of the great privileges of my life.
Mark Hetherington, ex-Rams quarterback who went on to Idaho State
“Playing for Coach C and FCC is one of the great privileges of my life,” said Mark Hetherington, a quarterback in 2001-02 who transferred to Idaho State. “It was evident from the very first practice how passionate Coach was about football and how high the expectations of being a Ram were.”
Caviglia is hoping current and future players will continue to excel. They are the ones, he says, who deserve credit for the program’s success.
“Wasn’t sure how it was going to work out,” Caviglia said. “Just wanted to live up to expectations at one of the finest junior colleges in the state.”
▪ West Hills will host Shasta in the NorCal American Division Bowl at 1 p.m. Saturday in Coalinga. The Falcons (9-1) defeated Hartnell 19-13 last weekend for the Golden Coast Conference title. The Knights are 8-2.
Soccer – Fresno City’s men’s and women’s teams open regional play Saturday on the field adjacent to Ratcliffe Stadium.
The second-seeded women (16-1-4), who reached the final four last season, face No. 15 Solano (12-7-1) at 11 a.m.
Fresno City’s sixth-ranked men play at 2 p.m. against No. 11 Contra Costa. Both are 12-5-4.
Cross country – The Glendale women and American River men are favored to win the team titles as Fresno City hosts the state meet at Woodward Park. Roughly 400 runners from about 55 schools are competing, with the women’s 3.1-mile race at 10 a.m. and the men’s 4-miler at 11 a.m.
Sequoias’ women were second to Hartnell at the NorCal meet. Southwestern’s defending state champion Aminat Olowora returns in her bid to break the course record she set last year, 16:59.7, taking down the 30-year-old mark of 17:06 of East Los Angeles’ Sylvia Mosqueda.
Volleyball – Central Valley Conference champion Fresno City (20-4) picked up the sixth seed for the regional playoffs and will host No. 11 Gavilan (16-11) at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Sequoias (12-6) earned the 18th seed and visits No. 15 Diablo Valley (8-13) in a play-in game Saturday.