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Narbonne hires Malcolm Manuel to be football coach

Malcolm Manuel, the Banning junior varsity coach, is the new football coach at Narbonne.
(Courtesy Malcolm Manuel)

Malcolm Manuel, a 27-year-old junior varsity football coach at Banning, has been officially hired to be the football coach at Narbonne.

He will take over a program that had been the dominant team in the City Section until this past season, when the Gauchos were banned from the playoffs for two years, were forced to forfeit all their victories in 2019 and had to vacate their 2018 championship because of ineligible players. Coach Manuel Douglas resigned and has taken over as head coach at St. Bernard. Narbonne entered the 2019 season as the five-time defending City champions.

Adding to the challenge for Manuel is many football players have left Narbonne, setting up the task of trying to rebuild from rock bottom. Facilities also are closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and coaches aren’t allowed to have contact with students other than videoconference calls.

“I’m more excited than anything,” Manuel said. “It’s probably we are starting from scratch, but that can be a good thing. We can put our mark into it.”

Manuel will be a tutor on campus. Since City Section football games could be delayed until January, the extra months would be helpful in trying to restart the program.

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“We’ll be fine, whether games in September or January,” he said.

Manuel first received notice he would become Narbonne’s football coach in April but it didn’t become official until Monday.

“It was just some technicalities with paperwork and got resolved,” he said.


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