Football: St. Margaret's Stephen Barbee teaches third-graders, then coaches varsity team

By day, Stephen Barbee is a third-grade history teacher at San Juan Capistrano St. Margaret's. By afternoon, he's the football coach.

"Never a dull day," Barbee said.


Barbee, who has been the team’s interim coach since taking over at the start of the season when Rod Baltau stepped down for medical reasons, has St. Margaret’s playing in Friday’s 4 p.m. CIF state championship Division IV bowl game against Modesto Central Catholic at StubHub Center.

He used to be an assistant coach at Marin Catholic, then moved to Southern California after the 2009 season. He had been serving as defensive coordinator but has guided St. Margaret's to a 15-0 record. While he prepares his team for one final game, the school is advertising for a new coach.

"They told me I could apply for the job," Barbee said.

He certainly has put together an impressive resume over the course of the season. St. Margaret's has students from pre-school through 12th grade. Barbee teaches history, social studies and also teaches P.E. He makes sure his players understand the importance of community.

"I've tried to stress the whole year the we," he said. "What the we is, it's a community, giving a jersey to a teacher, opening doors for pre-school kids. We represent the community."

And he loves teaching some of the youngest students.

"You really get education in your truest form with the third-graders," he said.