Justin Nast celebrated his first victory as Hoover High football coach when the Patriots beat Washington 12-7 Thursday night.
Hoover started 0-3 but was coming off a bye week. Washington slid to 0-5 with its third close loss of the season.
Nast came to the Patriots after Shannon Pulliam left to coach the Kastner Intermediate School eighth-grade team. That continued an odyssey for Pulliam who’s previously been at Lemoore, Sierra and Sunnyside. Hoover was 3-8 under Pulliam in his one season, including 3-2 in the North Yosemite League.
Nast has previous head-coaching experience at A.B. Miller-Fontana, going 4-26 from 2013-15. He’s been an assistant at Redlands, Atascadero and Clovis.
And he’s working to link to the Patriots program’s past, recently bringing in former Hoover players Duran Archie, Edwin Benton and Rod Perry to address the team.
This summer, two other Hoover stars of the past, brothers and current NFL players Mychal and Eric Kendricks, hosted a camp at Hoover.
Times have been tough lately at Hoover (the Patriots last season suspended the Battle of Barstow series with Bullard that had been running since 1963) but there is a legacy of excellence – seven alums have been drafted into the NFL: Perry (1975, Los Angeles Rams), Bob Glazebrook (1978, Oakland Raiders), Rod Horn (1980, Cincinnati Bengals), Henry Ellard (1983, Los Angeles Rams), Kevin Robinson (2008, Kansas City Chiefs), Mychal Kendricks (2012, Philadelphia Eagles) and Eric Kendricks (2015, Minnesota Vikings). Patriots Lee Harris and Ryan Wetnight signed as undrafted free agents and spent time in the NFL.