The search for the next head coach of the Orange Coast College football program ended right where it began.
OCC has retained Joel “Bubba” Gonzalez as its full-time head coach after he served in the role on an interim basis last season.
“I am very excited for the future of Coast Football under the leadership of Coach Gonzalez,” OCC athletic director Jason Kehler said in a news release on Thursday. “The groundwork that Bubba laid last season is just the beginning of what our football program can be. His focus on mentorship, student success, and development of the student-athlete as a whole are just a few of the traits that set Bubba apart. Combine that with his experience in football, and I truly believe that the Pirates will be a team on the rise.”
The Pirates went 1-9 overall last year. Prior to that, Gonzalez was OCC’s defensive line coach for two seasons, leading nine of his players on the path to NCAA and NAIA scholarships.
Gonzalez becomes the eighth head football coach in the school’s 71-year history.
“I was worried about the record being a factor, but more importantly for me, I wanted to create a positive culture with our team, with a focus on player behavior and development,” Gonzalez said. “I received so many compliments throughout our campus on how our players acted and behaved off the field. Looking at last year, we wanted to play some of the top teams in the area and we competed well. If we want to have a big program, we will have to play against other big programs to prepare our guys and show them where we want to be.”
Before arriving at OCC, Gonzalez began his coaching career in the high school ranks. He was an offensive line assistant coach at Villa Park in 2009. His next stop landed him at Mater Dei, where he coached the offensive and defensive lines for six seasons.