Tony Henney, a former Nordhoff coach who guided Trabuco Hills to a section title in his only season as coach, has accepted the job of head coach at Westlake High.
He replaces Jim Benkert, who left for Oaks Christian after running the Westlake program since 1989.
"It wasn't something that I really thought was going to happen," Henney said. "With Jim leaving, it spurred some events. My wife and I looked at the chance to go home and decided it was in the best interest as a family."
Henney, 38, said he hopes to finish his career at Westlake. He said last Friday he was told the school wanted him as coach but was not officially offered the job until Monday. On Tuesday, he told his Trabuco Hills players of his decision to leave.
"It was tough," he said.
Henney's hiring may help prevent an exodus of Westlake players that was expected after Benkert's departure.
FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this post stated Joe Silvey was named Trabuco Hills' new football coach. He has not been named the coach.
Henney has guided teams to section titles for three consecutive years. He was the head coach at Nordhoff from 2008 through 2013.
Westlake's interim principal, Nicole Judd, said in a news release, "We are excited that the process produced a coach who fit all of the factors that we were seeking to lead our program and that we can now move on to preparing for the next season."
Defensive coordinator Joe Silvey is considered a candidate to replace Henney at Trabuco Hills. The school has not named a replacement.