Fenton headed to coach Los Alamitos football

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Ray Fenton has stepped down as head football coach at Fountain Valley High to take the same position at Los Alamitos.

Fenton confirmed Friday that he has accepted the Los Alamitos job. He said he informed the Fountain Valley administration and his football program of his decision Jan. 14.

“It was a really tough decision and I feel heartbroken leaving Fountain Valley High School,” he said Friday. “[Jan. 14] was probably the toughest day I’ve had. It certainly was the most difficult from a professional standpoint.


“I just talked to the kids from my heart. It was very emotional and tough to walk away from them. I was honored to be a part of this program. This was a special group of seniors who helped build this program during my time here.”

Fenton takes the Los Alamitos head coaching job from John Barnes who retired after 37 years in charge of the Griffins football program. Barnes, who had led the program since 1979, is Orange County’s all-time leader in coaching victories.

Fenton coached the last three years at Fountain Valley. He complied an overall record of 19-13, going 7-4 in his first season (2013) and again in his last this past fall, and took both teams to the CIF Southern Section playoffs (Southwest Division in 2013, West Valley Division in 2015).

His final squad finished second in the Sunset League.

“It’s a completely different challenge, given that I grew up in that area [of Los Alamitos],” he said of his new coaching position. “Growing up, I lived about two miles from their campus. When I first started coaching at Cypress High School, Los Al was in our league. I played in high school, [Cypress], against Coach Barnes and later, coached against him.

“I’ve always had a great relationship with him and have nothing but respect for him and what he has done at Los Al. They have a great tradition and I’ve watched what they’ve done from afar.”

Fenton was announced as the new football coach at Fountain Valley in December 2012. In 2007, he had guided his alma mater, Cypress, to a CIF Southern Section Southern Division title.


Fenton teaches physical education at Fountain Valley and said Friday he hopes that the Huntington Beach Union High School District will release him from his contract so that he can teach P.E. at Los Alamitos starting in the second semester of the current school year which begins Jan. 25.