Bouncing around the football regions:
McClure movement – Angus McClure parades around high school and community college campuses decked out in UCLA’s powder blue and white, selling the merits of the Bruins and the college life, all while keeping tabs on the widespread wildfires in Southern California.
But will the Sacramento State graduate be around to reap any of these recruiting efforts?
With the Nov. 19 firing of coach Jim Mora, the UCLA staff is in something of a holding pattern while Chip Kelly evaluates the staff and roster. It’s common for new coaches to overhaul. Meanwhile, UCLA prepares for the Cactus Bowl on Dec. 26 against Kansas State while players and coaches worry about surrounding fires. UCLA canceled classes on Thursday and resumed on Friday.
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McClure, the Bruins’ recruiting coordinator and defensive-line coach, has quite a résumé and argument to stick, though he won’t publicly lobby for his job. He is the longest-tenured coach in the Pacific-12 Conference, in his 11th season in Westwood. He has been hailed for his ability to recruit, to coach the lines and other positions. He was an offensive lineman for Sac State in the late 1980s and was the line coach with the Hornets from 1997-2003 when they set 52 NCAA Division I-AA, Big Sky Conference and/or school offensive records.
“Don’t know, but hopeful,” McClure said of his status while at a recent American River College event. McClure added Friday, “Fires are close. Was driving on the 405 to practice on Wednesday morning and saw the glow and pulled off on Mulholland Drive to avoid getting stuck. It looked like a bomb went off.”
▪ McClure’s son, Hamish McClure, capped a three-year varsity quarterback run at Crespi High in Encino by committing to Sac State. This is further proof that wins and losses do not dictate a player’s future. Crespi went 1-10 after going 4-16 the previous two seasons.
Heavies collide – Nationally ranked No. 1 Fullerton (12-0) plays No. 4 San Mateo on Saturday at 1 p.m. for the California Community College Athletic Association State Championship at Hughes Stadium at Sacramento City College.
Hughes has officially housed it all in this sport, including NFL and AFL exhibition games in the 1950s and ‘60s (the Raiders’ first win was in the venue in 1960s), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in the 1970s, a lot of Holy Bowls between Jesuit and Christian Brothers and a handful of Causeway Classics pitting UC Davis and Sac State.
This is the first of a two-year deal with the CCCAA and Hughes Stadium. Fullerton beat American River for the state title last season, and San Mateo eliminated ARC in the NorCal finals 24-21 after losing 21-20 to the Beavers earlier this season. Fullerton is in a state title game for the ninth time overall and third time since 2013.
One player familiar with Hughes is Jamarri Jackson, a two-time Bee All-Metro performer for Christian Brothers. He is a freshman cornerback with San Mateo.
Humboldt hangs on – Humboldt State will remain the last Division II football program in California after an 11th-hour push by boosters, donors and alums raised some $500,000 to ensure that the program will see its 91st season in 2018.
“I thought we were dead in the water,” said coach Rob Smith, who had ceased recruiting efforts because of the program’s financial difficulties.
That feeling has been replaced by celebration in Arcata.
Humboldt went 9-1 in 2011, 8-2 in 2014, 10-2 in 2015 and 8-2 this season, so losses weren’t sinking the Lumberjacks. Since the early 1990s, these state programs folded football: Chico, Hayward, Fullerton, Long Beach, Menlo, Northridge, Pacific, Riverside, Saint Mary’s, Santa Clara and Sonoma. Sac State and UCD avoided the program axe in the 1990s and 2000s when student referendums passed.