Soccer Coach Will Not Return to Mater Dei

Times Staff Writer

John O’Neil will not return as coach of the Mater Dei High School boys’ soccer team next season.

Athletic Director Gary McKnight said Monday that O’Neil, a first-year walk-on coach, was told last Thursday he would not be back because school administrators are trying to phase out walk-on head coaches for boys’ sports.

“We are trying to go to on-campus head coaches,” McKnight said. “It is just so tough to have off-campus people. They are not there to handle day-to-day situations with the kids.”


O’Neil said Monday that he told McKnight after the season that he would not return if he were admitted to college.

“I left because I can’t go to USC and coach at the same time,” said O’Neil, who plans to major in business administration.

Mater Dei (13-9 overall) was first in the Angelus League with a 7-1 record. The team lost several nonleague games after 11 players were suspended from the team for 10 days for drinking alcohol at a team retreat in Big Bear.

O’Neil, who said no drinking went on in front of him, was suspended and later reinstated.

Mater Dei’s attempt to have only full-time coaches for the boys sports could affect wrestling Coach Steve Glassey and volleyball Coach Bill Fallon, both walk-on coaches. But no decision has been made regarding those coaches.