After 39 years as an assistant, Joe McNab is named football coach at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame

Joe McNab (left) has been chosen to replace Kevin Rooney as the football coach at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. He spent 39 years as Rooney's top assistant.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

No one has had a longer job interview or internship than Joe McNab. For 39 years, he was the top assistant football coach to Kevin Rooney at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. And on Wednesday, Notre Dame announced McNab has been chosen to replace the retiring Rooney as head coach.

“Yeah, that is a long job interview,” McNab said. “I think I’ll do a good job. I’ll work hard and approach it like I do track.”

McNab was part of four Southern Section championship football teams and has been head coach of 10 Southern Section champion track and field teams at Notre Dame. He’s highly regarded for his work ethic, leadership skills and knowledge as defensive coordinator. He was 2-0 as the coach last season when Rooney had to take a leave of absence after the death of his wife.


Jeff Kraemer, a former Notre Dame assistant, said of McNab’s hiring, “No one is more respected and admired.”

Two of McNab’s sons graduated from Notre Dame, played football and went on to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. His wife, Neezer, is an assistant principal at Taft and president of the City Section’s Board of Managers.

His immediate priority is to hire an offensive coordinator and deal with several players who have decided to transfer out.

He called a play only in his first year.

“It didn’t work,” he said.

The Knights are expected to build around quarterback Cooper Meek, who missed most of this past season after undergoing knee surgery.