Dean Herrington, who guided Alemany to seven league titles in 10 years as football coach and was 84-32, said Monday he has been dismissed and will be replaced by former UCLA and NFL defensive back James Washington.
Principal David Chambers said he made the decision.
"I wanted to go in a new direction," Chambers said. "I felt Coach Washington was a much better fit for Alemany and me personally. We have nothing but great respect for Coach Herrington and what he contributed to Alemany."
Chambers said Washington, an L.A. Jordan grad who has never coached at the high school level, will be surrounding himself with a "topnotch" football staff. Washington coached at L.A. Southwest College briefly in the 1990s.
"We feel we'll be well represented with former head coaches and very established coaches at every position," Chambers said.
Herrington said he's now "a free agent." There have been more than 60 high school coaching jobs open.
The big question is whether sophomore quarterback Brevin White, who has trained for years under Herrington, will stick around.
Alemany failed to make the Pac-5 playoffs the last two years. Chambers was hired as Alemany's new principal in 2014.
Coaches in the San Fernando Valley expressed shock at Herrington's departure.
Crespi's Troy Thomas said, "Dean Herrington is one of the best coaches I've coached against."
"They've done a good job on the field. It's very surprising," Chaminade's Ed Croson said.
In an email sent to Alemany faculty, Chambers said, "Coach Washington is an exceptional leader and coach and a man of faith who fully reflects and embraces Bishop Alemany values. He will bring to our athletes and our football program a sense of character, integrity, sportsmanship and passion for victory."
Washington has been serving as Director of Scholarship Development for Intercollegiate Athletics at UCLA. He will help Alemany in the advancement office besides being head coach.
Washington said, "I've been around football for a long time. A head coach makes sure he has quality assistants and when I release that list, they will have more high school coaching [experience] and background than anybody in the Trinity and Mission leagues. We're trying to get them over the hump to the next level."
In another coaching move, Norm Dahlia has resigned at Lancaster Paraclete.