Former Dos Pueblos standout Shane Lopes is the new coach for Laguna Blanca School’s eight-man football team, athletic director Mike Biermann told Presidio Sports.
This is Lopes’ first head coaching job. He served as an assistant coach at Dos Pueblos for several seasons. He replaces Ray Robitaille, who helped start the football program at Laguna Blanca in 1999.
According to Biermann, Laguna Blanca’s administration felt the program needed a fresh start and new energy and decided to make a coaching change.
“It was an administrative decision; they just wanted a change,” Biermann said.
Robitaille will remain at the school, coaching lacrosse, middle school football and teaching physical education.
Biermann is looking forward to having Lopes take over the program.
“I have great respect for (former DP football coach) Jeff Uyesaka and I know Jeff raved about Shane and highly recommended him,” Biermann said.
As a former quarterback, Lopes is excited about drawing up plays for the wide-open eight-man game.
“I enjoy coaching for many reasons and it will be exciting to design schemes that maximize our team’s strengths,” he said.
Lopes, 27, was a candidate for the head coaching job at Dos Pueblos. The job went to Nate Mendoza, who also coaches varsity baseball and is a full-time teacher at the school.
Lopes, who is in the process of getting his teaching credential, admitted he was disappointed that he didn’t get the DP job. “But, now looking back, I am very grateful for the outcome of the situation because it allowed me to pursue new ventures,” he said.
Lopes said Laguna Blanca is giving him the opportunity to fulfill a goal.
“I’ve been striving to become a head football coach for several years and the opportunity presented itself,” he said. “Laguna Blanca is an outstanding school and I’m honored to be a part of it.”
Lopes was a record-setting quarterback at Dos Pueblos. He was a four-year starter and led the Chargers to a CIF Division 4 runner-up finish in 2001. He set county passing marks that season by completing 220 of 394 attempts for 3,084 yards. For his DP career, he threw for 7,253 yards.
Lopes, who played collegiately at Moorpark College and Delaware State, is in the process of putting a coaching staff together. The team’s first official practice is Aug. 14.
On his expectations for his first year, he said: “Without meeting all of the players and hiring a coaching staff, it is tough to say what my expectations will be for the season regarding wins and losses. I do, however, expect that our players will learn a lot about the game of football and will enter each game well conditioned, determined to win and willing to work for their teammate.”
Lopes is the fourth new head football coach on the South Coast. The other rookies are Anthony Linebaugh at San Marcos, Nate Mendoza at Dos Pueblos and Doug Caines at Santa Barbara. The “oldtimers” are Ben Hallock at Carpinteria, Tom Crawford at Bishop Diego and Ben Soto at Cate.