Grootegoed to coach at OCC

SportsFootballCollege SportsCarson PalmerMatt LeinartHeisman TrophySyracuse Orange

Matt Grootegoed, one of the most decorated Orange County high school football players of all time and a former All-American linebacker at USC, will coach linebackers at Orange Coast College during the upcoming football season, Pirates' Coach Mike Taylor said Thursday.

Grootegoed, who had a brief NFL career, played the last of his three seasons for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League in 2009.

After a heralded career at Mater Dei, where he was a two-way standout at tailback and safety, Grootegoed was a four-year starter at linebacker for USC. He earned All-American laurels in 2004, played for back-to-back national champions in 2003 and 2004 and played with Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush.

He signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent in 2005, but was released from their practice squad. The Detroit Lions signed him in 2005 and he played for them in the final three games of that season.

His tenure in Canada included winning a Grey Cup in 2008.

Taylor said John Grootegoed, a former offensive lineman at Mater Dei and San Jose State, will also help coach the linebackers.

In addition, Taylor said Rudy Caamano, a former quarterback at New Mexico, has been hired as offensive coordinator.

Caamano whose college career also included stops at Mt. San Antonio College and Iowa State, threw for 1,743 yards and 13 touchdowns in two seasons in Albuquerque. The Newport Beach resident starred at Santa Fe High and served as offensive coordinator at his prep alma mater last season, when the Chiefs went 6-5.

"He came over as a quarterbacks coach and we thought he had some better things going offensively," Taylor said. "He had been in private business, but wanted to be more involved in coaching."

Taylor said the offensive scheme next season will be predicated on personnel. The Pirates are expected to return the state's leading rusher in Domenic Betts, who amassed a school-record 1,772 yards and 20 touchdowns last season, when OCC went 4-6.

Taylor said Betts is still shoring up some academic issues in the summer that may affect his eligibility. But Taylor said he expects Betts, who has received scholarship offers from LSU, Auburn, Arizona, Purdue and Syracuse, among others, to be ready to play for the Pirates in 2013.

barry.faulkner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BarryFaulkner5

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