Jim Barnett, head football coach at Poly High School the last five seasons, has been named coach at Trabuco Hills High, a new school in Mission Viejo.
Trabuco Hills Principal Bill Brand, who had also considered Cal State Long Beach assistant coach Steve Bresnahan, recommended Barnett, 38, to the school board, which will vote on the selection Monday night.
"I would have liked to have stayed another year, but then I wouldn't have had this opportunity," Barnett said.
"There were some things at Poly I was never going to whip, I don't care if I'd been there until I was 60."
He said he was referring to outdated and cramped facilities.
"I'd like more space," he said. "The thought of a new high school is exciting."
Barnett's record at Poly was 46-11-4. The Jackrabbits won the Southern Section title in 1980 and were runners-up in '81 and '82. They won or shared the Moore League title each of the five seasons. They were 10-2 last season.
"I'm not absolutely sure I'm making the right decision," Barnett said. "I'll miss the kids here. They're tough kids who love to play."
Trabuco Hills, which will not have a senior class in the first year, will play a free-lance schedule. "The talent won't be as good, but I won't be playing Banning or Fountain Valley either," Barnett said. "Everything is relative."