For 20 seasons, the late Clare Slaughter roamed the Fresno City College football sideline and piled up 136 victories.
That win total stood since 1978 as the school record – until Saturday.
The Rams rolled past Sierra 45-19 in their season opener in Rocklin – giving coach Tony Caviglia 137 victories.
For us to break that record speaks highly of the players and coaches that put it on the line.
Fresno City College football coach Tony Caviglia
“He really set the bar high here and the foundation of excellence for Fresno City College football,” Caviglia said of Slaughter. “For us to break that record speaks highly of the players and coaches that put it on the line for the Rams on Saturday. We’re just building on the foundation that he built. We’re going to set a different standard for 2016, but give the next coach something to shoot for.
“I told the team we might’ve made history in college football history where a head coach gets a Gatorade shower for winning their first game.”
Caviglia was hired in 1999, taking over for the late Vance Stanley. Caviglia said he didn’t know about the record until a year ago.
“1999 seems like yesterday, and when I got here I really had no preconceptions how long I was going to be here,” said Caviglia, who is 137-51 at Fresno City. “I had made a lot of steps in coaching along the way. My family moved a bunch of times and when we got to Fresno it felt like home.”
The 2016 Rams wanted to get the win for their coach and it was the talk leading up to the game.
“I’m proud to be a part of the team that got Coach C the most wins in history for Fresno City College,” said Rams receiver Marcus Rose, who had four receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown. “I’ll never forget this day.”
Sophomore quarterback Anthony Monken, who passed for three touchdowns against Sierra, was delighted to help secure the milestone victory for Caviglia.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to start my last season here,” Monken said. “There’s no one more deserving of the win title than Coach C.”
Caviglia said he often reminiscences of his past teams and was gracious to have coached the many players who have come through the hallway by his office.
“It’s not just me – it’s the men that I coached with and the support system we have,” he said. “We’ve been able to put up a consistent winner year in and year out. Knock on wood: never had a losing season. But we’re consistently competing on the field. This record is nothing really for me. It’s just a milestone for all the players and coaches that played for me and did the things that they were supposed to do as student-athlete. This record is a product of their efforts.”
Defensive back Craig Williams Jr., who had one of the Rams’ five interceptions Saturday, said he’ll never forget that day.
Being a part of school history feels great.
Fresno City defensive back Craig Williams Jr.
“Getting this win really feels good,” he said. “With so many doubters, we were able to get a victory for Coach C. Being a part of school history feels great.”
Caviglia said he’s “having fun and the players keep me motivated” because of their willingness to listen.
“It makes me want to keep going,” he said. “One of the most important things in regards to this job is you have players that have gotten through the grind and went on to be successful. They come back and say hello and stop by the office, go to practice and games. To me, that is as powerful as anything they can do here for me, personally. I just love to see the guys come by and see how successful they are and doing things the right way.”
Fresno City winningest football coaches
Tony Caviglia (1999-2016)
Clare Slaughter (1959-1978)
Hans Wiedenhoefer (1951-58)
John Volek (1988-1994)
Bill Musick (1979-1987)
Stoney Johnston (1948-1950)
Vance Stanley (1996-98)
Steve Mooshagian (1995)
Fresno City 45, Sierra 19
Fresno City (1-0)
S: Tyrell Anderson 68 interception return (Jacob Smith kick)
F: Adam Becker 33 pass from Anthony Monken (Hugo Mendez kick)
S: Aaron Short 52 pass from Adam Besana (kick failed)
F: Marcus Rose 26 pass from Monken (Mendez kick)
F: Dwine Walls 3 pass from Monken (Mendez kick)
F: FG Mendez 33
S: Aaron Short 2 pass from Besana (pass failed)
F: Nate Jones 23 run (Mendez kick)
F: Elgin Austin 3 run (Mendez kick)
F: Jamal Pickett 5 run (Mendez kick)
Time of Possession
Rushing: Fresno City, Andrew Zimmermn 4-87, Nate Jones 10-51, Briquez Alvies 15-40, Austin 8-35, Pickett 8-32, Khai Williams 6-12. Sierra, Andrew Lackowski 7-35, James Budgett 1-2, Tyler Clanin 1-1, Justus Spillner 1-(-3), Besana 4-(-10).
Passing: Fresno City, Monken 17-27-2-216, Zimmerman 0-2-0-0. Sierra, Besana 14-25-3-196, Spillner 4-7-2-26.
Receiving: Fresno City, Rose 4-60, Coltin Velasquez 4-60, Becker 3-51, Walls 2-12, Marquese Livers 1-10, Terry Toler 1-9, Jones 1-7, Ryan Brocks 1-7. Sierra, Romello Bentley 7-96, Short 4-74, Draysean Hudson 1-14, Isaiah Bailey 1-13, Lackowski 2-12, Brandon Aiyuk 1-6, Joshwa Porter 1-6, James Budgett 1-1.
Interceptions: Fresno City, Craig Williams Jr., Chandler Cocklin, Tyran Daniels, Nico Moreno, Mason Ellis. Sierra, Anderson, Kyron Basped.
Sacks: Fresno City, Jaquan Alvies, Moreno, Lavell Smith. Sierra, Joseph DeMartini.
SANTA ROSA AT FRESNO CITY
- Saturday: 5 p.m. at Ratcliffe Stadium
- Records: Bear Cubs 0-1; Rams 1-0
- Last week: Fresno City d. Sierra 45-19; Santa Rosa d. Butte 17-7