Rahshaun Haylock (CBS) — Most people wouldn’t resign from a school fresh off the heels of taking them to back to back CIF Finals appearances. Most people wouldn’t want to replace a coaching legend. Most people wouldn’t want the responsibility of reviving a once proud program.
Most people aren’t Elijah Asante.
Just a week after resigning at Carson, Asante has been named the new head coach at Santa Fe Springs St. Paul.
“It’s a great opportunity as far as it being a program with a rich history and tradition of being dominant. They love football here,” said Asante. “If you come and you look at the infrastructure of what they have setup around their football team, it’s (great) for a coach like myself to come here and try to take the team back to the heights that they once were.”
He replaces Marijon Ancich, who stepped down after completing his third tour of duty at the school. Ancich is second on California’s all time wins list with 360, only trailing De La Salle’s Bob Ladoceur. Ancich won three CIF titles (1968, ’72, ’81).
For Asante, who also has a law degree from USC, it’s about the challenge. How else could you explain scheduling, Long Beach Poly, Santa Margarita, and Mission Viejo in consecutive weeks as he did in his last season at Carson.
“I felt like I did all I could do at Carson. We went (to the LA City Section Championship Game) two years in a row and it was just time for a move. There was some issues there with the teaching and stuff like that, so this was a better fit for me,” said Asante, who was 20-9 in his two seasons as the Colts head coach.
Asante will be a full time teacher at St. Paul and contends there is no ill will towards Carson. Financially, the Carson job didn’t sit right with him. Without a full time teaching position, Asante was a substitute from time to time.
He now moves to the Southern Section for the first time as a head coach. At St. Paul, the challenge will be lifting the program back to a level it once was. Despite finishing 7-3 last season, the Swordsmen missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season in 2011, finishing fourth in the tough Mission League.
He has a starter returning at quarterback, Paul Telles, and someone to protect him at left tackle in Cristian Garcia, who is one of the top players in the area.