CONCORD (CBS SF) – De La Salle High School coach Bob Ladouceur is retiring after 34 years, ending a run that included a national record 151-game winning streak from 1992 to 2003 and 20 unbeaten seasons.
Ladouceur said at a news conference at the school in San Francisco’s East Bay on Friday that it was just “a good time” to step down. Assistant Justin Alumbaugh will take over as the Spartans’ head coach.
Ladouceur leaves with a 399-25-3 record, five state championships and 28 North Coast titles. De La Salle also finished No. 1 in various national rankings at least seven times.
Ladouceur has repeatedly been named “National High School Coach of the Year” by USA Today and was inducted into the national federation of State High School Associations Hall of Fame in 2001. An ESPY nomination for “Coach of the Year” from ESPN followed in 2004.
But the longtime teacher and coach, who said he never yearned to take the helm of a college football team, said the relationships he’s developed over the years with his fellow coaches and students have been the real highlights.
“(The students) are the ones that made it something more than just football,” he said. “I will be forever grateful to them.”
He said the Spartans’ successes over the years are “a testament to what is possible when teenagers are determined to create an authentic team experience” and credited them for their commitment to training and taking on tough obstacles.
Ladouceur also gave credit to his fellow coaches, whom he called “best friends.” One of those coaches, Justin Alumbaugh, a former De La Salle student who once played football under Ladouceur’s watchful eye, is set to take over the role of head football coach.
“He cares about kids, and he cares about challenging them and making them accountable – he has an incredible feel for how to challenge young men to make them better,” Alumbaugh said of his colleague and former mentor today.
The newly appointed head coach said he plans to do his best to follow Ladouceur’s example, starting with the varsity football team’s next training session on Wednesday.
The school won its fourth straight CIF State Open Division Championship with a 48-28 victory against Corona Centennial on Dec. 15. The program hasn’t lost to a Northern California team since 1991.
The 58-year-old Ladouceur took over at De La Salle in 1979 with no head coaching experience. He coached several players who went on to the NFL careers, including Maurice Jones-Drew, Amani Toomer, Derek Landri and D.J. Williams.
(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)