Drew Westling, who led Hilltop High to three straight Metro South Bay championships, has been named head football coach at Mt. Carmel.
And while one open position was filled, Orange Glen head coach Jason Patterson, who is also the school’s athletic director, has stepped down as football coach.
Westling replaces John Anderson, who stepped down after 10 years as head coach of the Sundevils.
“Great jobs like Mt. Carmel don’t come open very often,” Westling said, “John Anderson left the program in great shape. And he has been really helpful in the transition.”
Westling, who was a league MVP as a quarterback at Aliso Niguel High, went to Tulsa, transferred to Southwestern College and finished his playing career at San Diego State.
He posted a 28-18 record in four years at Hilltop, then accepted the head coaching position at Eastlake. But he left Eastlake after several weeks when he found he wasn’t on the same page as the administration.
“I sat out last season, and it was good for me,” said Westling, 33. “I have a young family, so I was able to focus on family things and was able to finish work on a degree in special education.”
Westling said he plans to recruit the Mt. Carmel campus, so that everyone who is interested in football gets an opportunity.
“Mt. Carmel has a great mix of kids,” Westling said. “Normally getting hired in June, I’d be freaking out. Because of COVID, though, everyone is behind where they’d like to be. We’ll do whatever the rules allow with the kids to try and get coordinated.
“Mt. Carmel checked every box in what I was looking for. I’m rejuvenated. We have the opportunity to write a new script.”
Mt. Carmel Athletic Director Greg Lanthier believes the Sundevils have the right man.
“The head football coach needs to be more than the CEO of the football program, he needs to be a leader for our athletic department, positively impact school-wide culture, and inspire our surrounding community,” Lanthier said. “Drew has outstanding on-field credentials but what impressed us the most was his reputation for impacting the entire school culture as well as inspiring the community.
“We feel fortunate to be able to land such a quality individual to build upon the foundation Coach Anderson had built over the last decade.”
Orange Glen switch
Patterson had a 36-40 record in seven years as head coach at Orange Glen.
He led the Patriots to a San Diego Section Division V championship in 2018. The team went on to beat Los Angeles Locke in the Southern California 6A title game before losing to San Francisco Lincoln in the state title game.
“I have some things outside of education that are kind of a ‘do-it-now-or-it-won’t-happen,’ deal,” Patterson said. “I love coaching, and I won’t say I’ll never coach again, but this is the right thing for me to do now.”
Patterson, who will remain as OG’s athletic director, said he’d like to name a new football coach within 10 days.
“We have a really good core group of players back, so the new guy is walking into a good situation,” Patterson said.
Since the end of the football season in March, there have been eight coaching vacancies — Mt. Carmel, Orange Glen, Olympian, Serra, Westview, Grossmont, Francis Parker and University City.