Citing health reasons, Glendale High football coach George Maiale has stepped down following three seasons at the helm of the Nitros.
Maiale, 30, announced his resignation Dec. 15
“I’ve had some health issues of late and I just need to take care of them,” said Maiale, who went 4-26, 0-21 in the Pacific League. “I also have two young children and I want to be with them and be healthy at the same time.
“I still love coaching, the players and the school itself, but it’s something I need to do. I just can’t make that full commitment to coaching. I tried to help the program get better and I’ve definitely learned a lot over these last three years. Glendale gave me an opportunity to be a head coach for the first time.”
Glendale finished 2-8, 0-7 this past season, posting nonleague victories against Mendez and Vasquez. After building a two-game winning streak heading into league competition, Glendale lost its final seven contests.
Maiale, who is a history teacher at Glendale, was the team’s fifth coach since the start of the 2004 season. He previously served as the defensive coordinator at St. Genevieve in Panorama City.
“You learn a lot about the job and I certainly did,” Maiale said. “Our players were always trying and never gave up.
“It was emotional telling them about my decision. I’m always going to have a soft spot for these players because they always gave it their all.”
The Granada Hills High and Cal State Northridge graduate also was a running backs coach at Harvard-Westlake and had stints at Campbell Hall and Granada Hills.
Glendale co-athletic director Alan Eberhart, a Glendale graduate who also coached the team from 2009-11, said Maiale did a good job overseeing the program.
“He did a lot of good things and he cares about the players,” Eberhart said. “Glendale is a hard place to coach, especially when it’s your first head-coaching job. I saw great improvement over the past year.
“It’s hard when you have a team consisting of 30 players. Sometimes there were maybe 22 or 23 when you factor in injuries. You can’t survive like that in a league like the Pacific League. George put a lot of work into making the program better and he did exactly what he was supposed to do. He poured his heart into the program and it’s tough when you lose games.”
Eberhart said it wasn’t clear when Glendale would hire a new coach. Glendale posted the job opening on the CIF website.
“It’s the start of the winter break now, so we won’t do anything until January,” Eberhart said. “Hopefully, we’ll be into the interview process by Feb. 1 and we’ll go from there.”
Glendale junior linebacker Chris Ibarra, who finished with 88 tackles, said he learned a lot from Maiale..
“He’s like a father to me and he helped me in so many ways to become a better player,” Ibarra said. “He showed me how to play defensive line and then become a linebacker.”