It’s a new day at Cabrillo, where the Jags have a football coach for the 2018 season. Longtime assistant coach Mike Ulufale will coach the team this year after six years in the trenches coaching the team’s offensive line and serving as its offensive coordinator.
Ulufale takes over for George Richardson, who was the team’s fourth coach in four years. Richardson, like most of the coaches for the Jags in recent years, was not rooted in the Westside community. With the hire of Richardson, the Cabrillo administration has made a shift in philosophy.
“I’m from the area, I was born and raised on the Westside,” said Ulufale. “The majority of kids who played for me here played for me when they were younger in Pop Warner. The kids need someone they can believe in because they’ve seen four or five coaches just in four years. I’m honored that the school offered me the position.”
Ulufale is hoping to bring stability to the Westside program, which is surrounded by talent but has struggled to get them on campus and keep them there. Last year star quarterback Denaylan Fuimaono transferred from Cabrillo to Carson, specifically citing the instability of the program’s coaching situation as the reason for departure. Fuimaono, who is headed to San Diego State next year, likely would have stayed on the Westside to play for a community institution like Ulufale.
“I think being from the area gives me some credibility,” said Ulufale. “It speaks for itself. I had opportunities to go elsewhere and I chose to stay where I was raised to try and make sure these kids succeed. I know what these kids go through.”
Longtime Cabrillo assistant Anthony Johnson’s recent passing will leave a hole in the program that will be hard to fill, and Ulufale said he was still reeling from the loss. Jaguars assistants this year will include Myron Ashley, Justin Marshall, and George Martinez.
Cabrillo is 6-13 the last two seasons and hasn’t made the playoffs since 2014.