Clovis News: Sports

Clovis West begins search for football coach

Clovis West High has begun the hiring process for a permanent football coach, launching a waiting game for Coby Lindsey.

"To be quite honest, I actually feel good about getting the job," said Lindsey, who went 5-6 as interim coach this season.

Athletic director Joe Aiello said applications will be accepted until Dec. 30, and that the goal is to name the coach in early February.

This comes after Clovis West's first losing record since 2000 and only its second in 23 years.

Never has Lindsey complained, other than to say being named interim in the summer made it difficult for him to establish identity and control.

If he wanted to cite excuses, there were many:

- Two-week suspensions of eight players, all starters, for disciplinary reasons early in the season.

- Season-ending injuries to quarterback Ian Hall and receiver/cornerback Gerald Nutt, and knee and ankle setbacks to Kendal Brock, arguably the best running back in the Central Section.

- Clovis West's losses, including two to section Division I champion Bullard (13-0), came to section- and state-ranked opposition that went a combined 53-9. That includes the state's fourth-ranked Servite-Anaheim (13-1).

Lindsey did say: "Some guys go through their coaching career and never have to deal with what we did."

The Golden Eagles' 1987 boys athlete of the year, Lindsey is selling stability to a program that has had four coaches in four years and seven in 12.

He said he'll lead the program for more than 20 years, given the opportunity. But his competition figures to be national for a job still deemed one of the best in the West because of the program's history (eight section titles since 1985), the athletic department's overall history (165 section titles in 31 years), and administrative and community support.

"If they bring in somebody else with a better vision and goal, I'll support that 100%," Lindsey said. "Regardless, I'll be at Clovis West."

The Eagles, in 2010, should contend for another section title, he said, when they return 15 starters. Among them will be Brock, whose 1,608 yards in basically nine games included a 219-yard effort against Servite and a 178-yarder against Bullard.

Hammond joins elite

Bullard wide receiver Jajuan Hammond is one of 15 California underclass football players who have been invited to the U.S. Army National Combine Jan. 7-9 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Clovis North tight end/defensive tackle Zach Bowman was previously invited to the combine, which showcases the nation's best underclass talent and is part of week-long festivities that precedes the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Jan. 9 at the same site.

Hammond caught 51 passes for 1,037 yards and seven touchdowns, including a 29-yard in the Knights' 42-31 win over Centennial for the Central Section Division I title.