Seeking to rebound from a dismal season, St. Genevieve High hired Cal State Northridge assistant Mark Lovett on Wednesday as the school's football coach.
Lovett replaces Kevin Kane, who resigned last fall after posting a 1-8 record, including an 0-4 mark in San Fernando Valley League play. Lovett, who teaches science at Alemany High, will join the St. Genevieve teaching staff in the fall.
St. Genevieve Principal Rudy Trujillo announced the hiring, saying that Lovett has the qualities to restore glory to a sagging program. Since 1966, the Valiants have won three Southern Section titles and twice were runners-up.
"St. Genevieve is turning its athletic program around and football is central to that," he said. "We've been a credible athletic school for many years and we don't want to lose that. The football program needs to be revitalized and Mark has the charisma and the know-how to do it."
Lovett, 34, is a former Valley-area standout, starring as a tailback at El Camino Real High from 1970-71 and then winning three varsity letters at Arizona State from 1972-76. He was selected the Sun Devils' most valuable player his final year.
"I feel more confident going into a dead program rather than one that's established," said Lovett, a member of the CSUN staff the past three years. "I told the kids, 'You've been waiting four months for me and I've been waiting forever for you, so let's get started.' I'm pumped."
After a brief career in a semipro league in Seattle, Lovett returned to the Valley and assisted Skip Giancanelli, his high school coach, at El Camino Real from 1981 to '85 before joining the Northridge program.
A glowing recommendation from Giancanelli helped Lovett land the St. Genevieve job.