Central High is in the market for a new football coach following the resignation of Justin Garza, and the decision of his interim replacement, Mark Hetherington, not to continue with the Grizzlies.
Garza, Central’s coach since 2012, stepped aside last season while battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He’s been fighting the cancer since 2011.
“I have truly enjoyed serving as the head football coach for Central Unified School District,” Garza was quoted in a news release issued by the school. “I look forward to returning to the district in a teaching capacity only.”
25-13 Justin Garza’s three-year record at Central
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Hetherington took over on an interim basis and led the Grizzlies to a 4-9 record that included a 2-3 mark in the Tri-River Athletic Conference and a 30-19 playoff win over Centennial before losing 40-27 to eventual Central Section Division I champion Liberty-Bakersfield.
Central was involved in one of the most bizarre games in recent memory when it beat then-undefeated Clovis 21-20 in a game delayed 36 hours by lightning. After the fact, it was shown that the Grizzlies had defended the Cougars with 13 players on five consecutive plays during the clinching drive.
Hetherington also will continue as a teacher at Central, according to the release.
Garza went 25-13 in his three seasons, with one TRAC title and one trip to the section D-I final. He is 64-53 overall in a 10-year career that also features head coaching stops at Reedley and Sunnyside.