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NOTEBOOK : Aguirre to Head Garfield Football Program

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

John Aguirre, Garfield High assistant football coach, has been named head coach. He replaces Steve Robinson, who died of a heart attack Jan. 14.

Principal Maria Tostado made the decision Monday after receiving inquiries from several other coaches. Tostado said she wanted to fill the position before Garfield begins its next session Feb. 16.

“He has the same philosophy as coach (Robinson) and the kids know him well,” Tostado said. “He’s been the (assistant) coach for the past four years at the school and he is a Garfield graduate. He’s a natural for the position.”

Aguirre, 38, graduated from Garfield in 1972. After serving three years in the Navy, he earned a physical education degree and teaching credential at Cal State Los Angeles in 1979. He held teaching and coaching positions at Bell Gardens and Roosevelt highs before returning to Garfield in 1988. Aguirre was an offensive assistant coach for two seasons and defensive coordinator for two seasons under Robinson.

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“This is somewhat of a dream come true,” Aguirre said. “It’s unfortunate the way it came about. I think working with Steve the past four years has prepared me to be a head coach.”

Aguirre will also serve as the Bulldogs’ offensive coordinator, while assistant Joey Elizondo will be the defensive coordinator. Elizondo was an inside linebacker coach for the Bulldogs.

Garfield has 17 players returning from a team that lost to eventual champion Sylmar in the City Section 4-A Division semifinals. The Bulldogs are among the favorites to win the title next season.

“I’m putting together an offensive game plan now,” Aguirre said. “I plan to keep some of the things Steve Robinson liked to do and implement some of things I like to do.”

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Signings--Crenshaw quarterback Eric Scott, Dorsey receiver Antonio Carrion and Manual Arts fullback Dion Laffitte are among local players who will receive football scholarships next fall.

Scott, Carrion and Laffitte will make their intentions final Wednesday, the first day that high school seniors can sign college letters of intent.

Scott (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) has decided to make a verbal commitment to Northwestern. Scott, who hopes to become a doctor, also visited Arizona State, Oklahoma and Hawaii.

Carrion, who was selected to the All-State Football team by Cal-Hi Sports magazine, has agreed to attend San Diego State.

Laffitte, a 6-2, 225-pound sprinter who also plays linebacker, selected Fresno State after also visiting Arizona State, University of Nevada Las Vegas and Oregon State.

Washington High tackle Tyron Gunn is scheduled to visit Hawaii this weekend before making his decision. He is also considering Arizona and UCLA. Crenshaw multisport athlete Kofi Nartey will sign with California.

According to Jefferson Coach Hank Johnson, multi-talented star Kelvin Hopson will play at Morse C. Brown in Atlanta or try out as a walk-on at USC. Democrat quarterback Marcus Johnson is expected to receive a scholarship to play at Prairie View A&M; in Texas or Grambling in Louisiana.


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