Melbon disappointed

Brent Melbon is ready to move on from the news he received Monday. He's learned to do that from experiences in the past.

He had to face frustration mixed with a bit of confusion when he was told he would not become Corona del Mar High's newest football coach.

How could that be?

Melbon graduated from CdM. He spent some time as an assistant for the Sea Kings' football team. He has strong ties in the community that stems from his coaching days with the Newport-Mesa Junior All-American program. When he was there he groomed a certain USC star quarterback named Matt Barkley.

But somehow, Melbon felt that wasn't enough to land the job with the Sea Kings. Somehow what seemed like a perfect fit never amounted to the news Melbon wanted to hear.

"I feel very disappointed," Melbon said Friday morning. "CdM is a place I've always dreamed being at [as a head coach]. I felt it was perfect timing for me to be there."

Scott Meyer, who had coached at Long Beach Jordan for six seasons and worked as the defensive coordinator at Long Beach Wilson this past fall, told the Daily Pilot he was CdM's new football coach Thursday morning. The school introduced Meyer to the players later in the day.

Melbon followed the news, just as he always has because the school will always be close to his heart.

He stepped down as coach of Dana Hills in November because he had said he wanted to start a family with his wife. He wanted to take at least a year off away from the game, but he said when he saw the CdM opening he wanted to return to coaching because he had always wanted to coach the Sea Kings.

He knew if he could get the job he would stay there. He produced success at Dana Hills, where he compiled an 18-14 record. In 1991, he guided the Dolphins to their playoff win since 1991, as they beat Orange Lutheran.

Meyer talked about wanting to beat Newport Harbor when he was introduced Thursday. Melbon did that in 2009, when Dana Hills beat the Sailors, 41-7.

Melbon wanted to bring that type of magic to CdM. He felt good about his interview that took place March 24 and lasted for about 30 minutes. But he later realized he didn't knock it out of the park like Meyer must have.

"I felt we were right for each other and that it would be a great fit," said Melbon, a P.E. teacher at Dana Hills. "But I wish the best for them. I want [Meyer] to do well and I'm sure he'll do well."

Administration doesn't typically talk about candidates who did not land the job. There really is no way of knowing why the Sea Kings didn't go with Melbon, who also applied after Dick Freeman was fired after the 2007 season.

Perhaps, Melbon stepping down at Dana Hills made CdM uneasy that he would remain with the Sea Kings for long. However, if the CdM decision-makers felt that way they could've done their homework.

Melbon said no one from CdM spoke with Dana Hills principal Rob Nye.

"I was disappointed that wasn't done," Melbon said.

CdM Athletic Director Don Grable seemed fond of Melbon, calling him a great candidate. Those who made it in the final nine were all great, Grable said.

CdM Assistant Principal Duncan McCulloch declined to elaborate about the hiring process. After inquiring about Melbon I also asked if anyone was offered the job before Meyer. McCulloch chose not to respond. He was excited about the hiring of Meyer.

Their hope is that the excitement will last.

Melbon will watch from afar. He's moving on.

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