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Football Long Beach Poly

Football: Long Beach Poly Promotes Daniel Singh to Defensive Coordinator

​​The Long Beach Poly football team will enter the 2023 season with a new face calling the shots for the Jackrabbits defense–although it won’t be a new face to the program. Daniel Singh, who’s been an assistant coach under Stephen Barbee for five years, has been promoted to defensive coordinator for the Jackrabbits.

“I really just feel blessed to be entrusted with this legacy,” he said. “There’s been so many great coaches here, it’s a blessing to be picked for it. I love the pressure of it, the feeling of having it on my shoulders to get these boys ready to compete at a national level again this year.”

Singh was one of six candidates for the job that Barbee interviewed.

“He knocked it out of the park, he was definitely prepared and he is an incredible football mind,” said Barbee. “He understands the nuances of the defense, having played offensive line he understands what the offense is trying to do.”

Singh has been a well-liked assistant with the Jackrabbits, both as a position coach and as a leader in the team’s strength and weights program. Barbee said he felt he was ready after watching him grow for the last half-decade.

“It’s great to see guys coming up from within, it’s important to be able to allow, as a head coach, your fellow coaches to grow,” he said. “Every year he’s taken on more and more responsibility, and I think he’s ready. So it’s exciting to see him take on this new role.”

Singh said Poly fans can expect a multiple-front defense that’s a little more flexible in terms of DB looks than the Jackrabbits’ zero-man approach of the last few seasons. 

“I’m a person that focuses on simplicity, I think if we can react quickly we can play quickly,” he said. “It’s really about having basic rules and then letting some of the best athletes in the country play football.”

Singh laughed when asked about Poly’s notoriously intense fans. Plenty in the Jackrabbit faithful are still bringing up a no-safety help coverage call during Poly’s CIF State loss to Serra two seasons ago.

“The best football coaches in America live on the Eastside of Long Beach, I can tell you that,” he said. “I actually do genuinely appreciate it. I’ve heard things from the 1950s, I’ve heard things people run with their Pop Warner, and everything in between. It’s really nice that they care about our kids and this program. I’ve been around this game long enough to where everybody can give me something.”

Singh is completing his teaching credential and is hoping to teach at Poly to allow him to coach football and also help out as a throws coach with the Poly track and field team–Singh has been coaching the throwers at Warren, including multiple CIF-SS Masters and State qualifiers over the last few seasons.

“Poly is a special place, and I want to do as much as I can,” he said. “These kids deserve it. I want to help on the football field, with the track team, in the classroom, everywhere I can.”

Barbee is hoping that Singh gets hired on campus soon, too. While the football team in the past had its defensive coordinator (Jeff Turley under Raul Lara) and other assistant coaches on campus, Barbee has been the only on-campus coach at Poly for the last few years. That’s a big responsibility with a teaching load plus a football program of between 160 and 180 athletes.

“I’m spread thin,” he said. “Having another person on campus to help in the classroom and on the recruiting side would be huge. When you look and see us in the national rankings last year, that’s something that the other schools on the list have and it would go a long way for us here.”

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.