Valley Football Coach Gets Fired
Monarch Head Coach Ron Ponciano and assistant coach Don Fellows get bad news after losing season.
Published: Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Updated: Sunday, June 7, 2009 09:06
At a Monarch football team meeting Tuesday afternoon, assistant head coach Jimmy Sims informed the players that coach Ron Ponciano was relieved of his head-coaching duties, effective immediately.
Offensive coordinator Don Fellows was also let go by the school as Sims was named interim head coach. Neither Ponciano nor Fellows attended the meeting. Panciano's record over the last two seasons was 4-16.
"I hope the Valley administration is happy with the decision they made to fire two of the best coaches in college football," said red-shirt freshman Jay Smith. "I promise you, it was a huge mistake, and as a player on this football team, I am thoroughly disappointed with the decision that was made."
Ponciano, who took over head coaching duties from Carl Ferrill (99-00 seasons) after being the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator in the 2000 season, struggled as the Monarchs amassed a 12-28 record during Ponciano's four-year tenure as head coach.
"I didn't know coach Ponciano too well, but from what I did know, he was a great coach," said freshman Chad Hicks. "He seemed to care for his players and wanted to help them in any way they could."
Many players on the team, including quarterback Brendon Dolye, were upset with the coaching change.
"Personally, I don't believe that the firing was the right thing to do," said Doyle. "I don't agree with it, but there's not much I can do. I don't think that I'm going to come back next season."
Doyle added that while he believes that a new system under Sims will work, he also believes that many of the changes Sims looks to make next season will not go through.
Ponciano, who began coaching in 1984, has held many positions in the past 19 years. He coached at USC, San Jose State, Missouri Western State College, CSUN and Azusa Pacific University.
Controversy followed the Monarch coach, as Ponciano was fired from CSUN in 1998.
CSUN terminated the football program in 1999 after reporting dismal attendance and unresolved financial issues that surrounded the department that year.
Ponciano brought in Fellows (Michigan high school), and defensive coordinator Leon Criner (College of the Canyons) to bolster the team's success after a 1-9 record in 2003.
"Coach Ponciano was a great mentor on this football team," said sophomore cornerback C.J. Harris. "Helping us players both on and off the field, he did a great job with this program, and he will be missed greatly by all the players."
The 2004 Monarch football team finished with a 3-7 overall and a 2-5 conference record.