COSTA MESA — Mayor Gary Monahan will honor Estancia High School's head football coach with an award at the start of Tuesday night's City Council meeting.
Monahan will give Coach Mike Bargas the Costa Mesa Mayor's Award for April in recognition for leading his team during the fall to its first outright league championship in 21 years.
"I wish I had a coach like this as a kid," said City Councilman Steve Mensinger, who nominated Bargas. "He takes it to a different level."
Bargas, a Costa Mesa resident, said he didn't do anything differently in the fall than when he started at Estancia four years ago, but that everyone was on the same page and committed to winning.
"It's really not what I've done," Bargas said. "It's what we've done as a team."
The award isn't just to honor Bargas, 39, for seeing his team to its first league championship since 1989, but also for the way he's helping better the community, Mensinger said.
"He is selfless and he is a servant leader," said Mensinger, who also serves as president of the Estancia High School Sports Booster Program. "He helps encourage these kids to do the same in the community."
Bargas said he encourages his boys to get involved and give back.
He thought it was important for his team to give back to the community that supports his players, so it would help instill in them values of hard work, loyalty and commitment.
Bargas added that he would never ask his team to do something he wouldn't do himself.
"If you're going to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk," he said. "You have to get your hands dirty."
Bargas grew up in Costa Mesa, playing football for Newport Harbor High School and Orange Coast College before taking a coaching position at his alma mater.
He has a bachelor's degree from Cal State Long Beach and a master's in education from Concordia University.
He said he fell in love with coaching for the purity that football demands through hard work, commitment and a sacrifice of the players' and the coaches' time and social life.Bargas has been coaching for 20 years.
Bargas' wife, Brook, and three children — Kai, Morgan and Seth, who plays on Estancia's junior varsity football team — have also put a lot into the program, he said.
Monahan started the Mayor's Award as a way to recognize community members who go above and beyond. Bargas fits that criteria by not only bringing a winning title to the school, but instilling confidence in his students, Monahan said.
"He's really made an incredible difference in the lives of these kids," Monahan said
If You Go
What: Estancia High School's head football coach Mike Bargas will receive the Mayor's Award.
When: 6 p.m.
Where: Council Chambers at Costa Mesa City Hall, 77 Fair Drive