El Capitan hires Mike Machado as new football coach

sjansen@mercedsunstar.comMarch 10, 2014 

Mike Machado

El Capitan High School recently hired Mike Machado as the school’s new football coach.

Machado will lead the Gauchos as they begin varsity play for the first time next season.

“Obviously, I know it’s going to be a challenge coming to a new school,” Machado said. “Really, the first couple seasons we are going to try to establish the program and our mentality. We want to establish who we are and how we do things.”

Machado helped transform his former team at Mission Oak into a Central Section power.

Machado joined Mission Oak in 2011 as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and he helped the Hawks compile a 30-6 record the past three years. They went 6-15 in their first two varsity seasons. Mission Oak averaged close to 40 points per game last year.

“Michael is the right guy,” said El Capitan principal Anthony Johnson. “He’s been through the process before with a new school. He’s the right guy for our future.”

Rene Asencio, who coached El Capitan’s junior varsity team last year, lost his teaching position at the school because of a credential issue and did not apply for the varsity job.

Former Merced High School coach Mark Speckman surfaced as an interesting candidate. However, it was unknown whether Speckman could get out of his contract with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

Speckman led Merced to five Sac-Joaquin Section championship games, including back-to-back titles in 1989 and 1990.

“He was a candidate,” El Capitan athletic director Lou Souza said. “But the timing wasn’t right because of his two-year commitment in Canada. We all know Mark is a great coach. He’s a legend and would have been great, but he’s under contract and that stalled us from pursuing him.”

Machado’s vision for the Gaucho program impressed Souza and Johnson.

“He really solidified his long-term plan and his vision for the program right from the get go,” Souza said. “I never felt like we had that before. He knows what he’s getting into. He’s been a part of a new school before.”

Machado plans to use a no-huddle, spread offense.

“It’ll be similar to the offense we used at Mission Oak,” Machado said. “We’ll use multiple formations with multiple receiver sets. The emphasis is getting as many snaps as possible.”

Machado will start April 1 as a full-time teacher and coach at El Capitan.

“I’ve been on campus five or six times since I was hired,” Machado said. “I’ve met with coaches. I’ve been in the weight room with the kids. To be able to start on April 1 and not having to wait until June 5 or 6 is big. I’ll be there two months teaching and coaching. I can’t wait.”

Sun-Star staff writer Shawn Jansen can be reached at (209) 385-2462 or sjansen@mercedsunstar.com.

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