Hometown Report

Hometown Report: Carmazzi brings past with him in new football era at CBS

Joe Davidson
Joe Davidson

Dave Hoskins already has his new football boss a bit concerned.

He vows to rummage through the storage room at Christian Brothers High School, digging beneath shoulder pads and blocking pads, to unearth coaching shorts from the 1970s. He wants a flashback look – the Bike-brand shorts – otherwise known as snuggies – that went out with disco.

“I think Dan Carmazzi and I would look great in them,” Hoskins joked this week.

In truth, Hoskins will look great by Carmazzi’s side as CBS bounds into a promising new era of football. Carmazzi will slide over from assistant to head coach of his alma mater. He replaces George Petrissans, who was formally approved by the Clovis Unified School District to become head coach at Clovis West. Hoskins, a coaching mentor for Carmazzi at CBS from 1967 to 1970, will coach the Falcons’ offensive line and offer insight on the strength and conditioning program.

This is a major 1-2 punch sure to further boost one of the area’s storied programs. Carmazzi is one of five area coaches to win 200 career games, and with a creative offensive mind he gained a reputation of molding young quarterbacks in 32 years at Jesuit. Hoskins has a reputation as one of the finest line and conditioning coaches in regional history, punctuated by four city championships and three Sac-Joaquin Section titles at Elk Grove in five seasons.

“Those two together, that’s trouble,” Granite Bay coach Ernie Cooper said. “Don’t think those two can’t coach a little? Wow.”

The only school Carmazzi said he would have considered coaching besides Jesuit was CBS. He just didn’t expect it to happen.

“It’s exciting to be back here and to be a head coach again, believe me,” Carmazzi said. “It’s amazing how things turn out.”

Carmazzi was a cerebral quarterback who could run and throw at CBS, graduating in 1971. Hoskins recalled how Carmazzi called his own plays under former CBS coach Dick Sperbeck.

“Carmazzi was smarter than the rest of us, even then,” Hoskins recalled.

After playing quarterback at UC Davis and graduating as a social studies major, Carmazzi got his coaching start as an assistant at CBS in 1976. Having moved on to brand-new Valley High School, Hoskins was asked in 1979 – by then-Jesuit coach and athletic director Red Smith – to consider becoming head coach at Jesuit. Instead, Hoskins suggested Carmazzi, who took over the Marauders in 1980 and steadily built the program into a power. Jesuit had its first playoff team by 1988 – Greg Harcos, the quarterback of that team, is now Jesuit’s basketball coach – and fielded a 12-1 team by 1993. By 1995, Jesuit had its first section title. Carmazzi won another in 2002.

Ready for a change, Carmazzi left Jesuit following the 2011 season and was immediately plucked by CBS. But this wasn’t the same CBS that Carmazzi had known. The Falcons had endured a roller-coaster ride.

A formidable program in the 1960s and ’70s, CBS soared in the 1980s. It won Division I section titles with 13-1 teams in 1981 (coached by Craig Rundle) and ’83 (with Jeff Tisdel). The Falcons’ last great team won the 1986 city championship behind Dan Hawkins, who went on to coach Boise State and Colorado.

CBS endured declining enrollment the last decade, prompting the school to drop the junior varsity program for a season. CBS returned to the playoffs with coach Andre Johansen and then Petrissans, who guided CBS last fall to its first playoff victory since 1986. CBS reached the D-III semifinals.

Petrissans is excited to return to the Central Valley (he grew up in Los Banos), and Carmazzi also comes full circle. The pressure is on both coaches.

“So many great memories here, and when I look at the history of CBS football, I’m amazed – Ray Clemons, Dick Sperbeck, Craig Rundle, Jeff Tisdel and so many others,” Carmazzi said. “There’s a legacy here that’s really important.”

The CBS players understand the tradition, too.

“It’s going to be exciting to see what new challenges Carmazzi will bring to the program,” CBS quarterback Chris Guillen said. “I know how good of a coach Carmazzi is, so I’m sure he’ll do excellent as our new head coach.”

But those old Bike shorts?

“We’re going to lose those,” Carmazzi said.