Football: Serra Coach Scott Altenberg is a UCLA fan _ really

OK, Gardena Serra Coach Scott Altenberg probably isn't going to receive an award from the UCLA alumni association.

They know he’s a UCLA grad. They know his father, Kurt, caught one of most famous game-winning touchdown passes in UCLA history to beat USC, 20-16, in 1965. But they can’t understand why another top Serra player, Adoree’ Jackson, picked USC over UCLA on Wednesday.

"As a fan, I'm disappointed," Altenberg said, "but my job as a coach is to help them make the best decision for them."

Altenberg told Jackson not to tell him where he was going before his announcement, and for good reason.


"At 6:30 in the morning, I had six missed calls and 10 text messages," he said. "It was insane."

Altenberg understands the frustration being felt by UCLA fans. He’s had to attend USC-UCLA games in recent years and watch some of his greatest players, such as Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, play for the Trojans.

He points out that two of his players, receiver Jordan Lasley and linebacker Dwight Williams, signed with UCLA on Wednesday. And he says that Jackson gave serious consideration to UCLA. "They came on strong," he said. "I think in the end, he went where he was comfortable."

He said UCLA is still trying to make up for the days USC and Pete Carroll dominated Los Angeles recruiting.
"It's going to be changing, because UCLA is doing so well," Altenberg said.

Altenberg will still wear his UCLA gear on Mondays after a UCLA victory. And he'll be keeping his season tickets at the Rose Bowl, though who knows where he'll be sitting.

"I might not get out of the tailgating area," he said.