Meet the new boss for the Mammoth High School football program. He’s the same as the old boss.
Tom Gault, longtime Huskie football coach, has agreed to return to the sidelines at Mammoth for the 2010 season.
Gabe Solorio, Mammoth High’s new principal, confirmed late Thursday afternoon that Gault and former Mammoth football player Marty Thompson will be leading the Mammoth football program during the upcoming season.
“Obviously, having Gault step up is a great thing,” Solorio said. “And Marty, he’s very excited about it as well. We’re looking forward to good things.”
Solorio said he sent an email Thursday informing staff of the latest news about Gault.
Reports circulated over the past few weeks that a new coach had been selected and was in Mammoth meeting with school and football personnel. But being the head football coach at Mammoth High is different from many other schools, with its remote location and high cost of housing and living.
“We’ve been looking and talking with different people, but it’s tricky,” Solorio said. “We don’t have a full-time PE position, or teaching position open. That makes it tough. We’ve been talking about a lot of things. It’s been crazy.”
Crazy was last season when the Huskies didn’t field a varsity team for the first time. Gault retired after the 2008 season after 25 seasons as head coach. James Gray was selected as the new head man for Mammoth football in spring of 2009, but many factors – including being hired relatively late, being an off-campus coach and, most of all, ineligible student athletes, forced the Huskies to abandon the varsity schedule for 2009, fielding just a junior varsity and playing a few 8-man, non-league varsity games.
Gault said this afternoon he began working with players in the weight room in February, and after a new coach could not be hired, “I told Mr. Solorio that Marty and I would take the kids through spring drills. Some people are saying maybe there aren’t enough Mammoth kids for football, I said, ‘Let’s find out.’ ”
Those spring drills ended last Friday. Gault said it was a “good turnout” with about 40 players, and that doesn’t include any incoming freshmen, and word has it there are many good athletes coming up from 8th grade. “That’s what they tell me,” Gault said.
The always-optimistic Gault also said he did not want to relive the lost season.
“When we started in the weight room, the first rule I put down was, ‘I don’t want anybody – players, parents – to talk about last year,’ ” Gault said. “I’m not interested in yesterday, much less last year. We’re moving forward.”