Glendale High didn't have to look far to find its next football coach.
After two years as a physical education teacher at the school and two seasons as an assistant coach in the program, John Tuttle was named the Glendale High football coach on Monday morning. It will be his first head coaching job.
"It's exciting," said the 34-year-old Tuttle, who was a multi-sport athlete at San Marino High and later played minor league baseball. "[I'm] excited, nervous, overwhelmed, all that stuff."
Tuttle began the interviewing process just last week and was introduced to his team as its newest coach on Monday. Tuttle succeeds Alan Eberhart, who resigned his post after this past season and who Tuttle assisted this past year after coaching at the freshman level in 2010.
Over the previous seven seasons, Glendale has had four coaches. Glendale Principal Deb Rinder is confident that, not only is Tuttle the right man for the job, but also the right man for the job for some time.
"I think John is the right guy at the right time. I really am confident that he has what it takes to make a difference," Rinder said. "One of the things that's hurt Glendale is the amount of coaches we've had over the last 10 years. [Tuttle's] committed for the long haul. He enjoys Glendale High and wants to be a part of it."
Before coaching at Glendale the past two seasons, Tuttle also had experience at various levels coaching at San Marino, Temple City, Duarte and Monrovia. A self-described "offensive guy," Tuttle will now take on the task of assembling a coaching staff and watching over the Nitros' offseason weight training program before spring practices.
He said he's well-aware of the challenges that come with taking over a program that went 2-8 last season and had just four wins over the past three seasons under Eberhart, who often spoke out about the program's problems, including a lack of fan support, dwindling roster numbers and a lack of multi-sport athletes at the school.
Tuttle, who is currently coaching the freshman boys' basketball team, said he intends on doing his best to get more multi-sport athletes and also doing his part to reach out to prospective Armenian athletes, who make up a large portion of Glendale's student-body, but are few and far between when it comes to their numbers on the football squad.
"I don't think it's gonna be a one- or two-year thing," he said. "I think it's a thing that's gonna take some time and we'll need to get out to the community."
Said Rinder: "His plan to engage kids, involve parents [and] reach out to the community is impressive."
With a roster that had roughly 30 players last season, the Nitros must also deal with the graduations of quarterback Evan Norton and All-Pacific League running back Alex Yoon. Speedy wide receiver and defensive back Michael Davis, a first-team All-Pacific League selection, will be the most notable returner. Though Tuttle isn't quite certain yet as to what exact schemes he'll run, he knows Davis will be a focal point and is likely to play receiver, running back and possibly line up at quarterback at times.
"Finding different ways to get Michael Davis the ball [will be the offensive game plan]. He'll be all over the place," Tuttle said. "I think we'll implement our own new stuff, find out what [the players] can handle, keep it basic and simple."
No matter the schemes that Tuttle decides to run, Rinder is confident that the new coach has the makeup to make a change for the better at Glendale.
"He's a young, enthusiastic, hungry [man who is] motivated to really take on the challenge of Glendale High football," Rinder said. "He has a calm demeanor and a very strong work ethic. I'm hopeful that the combination of all these characteristics will have a positive effect on the football program. I believe he's committed for the long haul. He's a man of character and he's hungry to make a difference."