The Coyotes didn’t look far to find their next football coach.
On the same day Lance Martin resigned from his position as Calabasas High varsity football head coach, athletic director Larry Edwards was selected by school administrators to take control of the program.
“I’m having a ton of fun,” said Edwards, who started working with the players last Wednesday.
“It feels great. We have some great kids. They keep me young.”
The coach needed three days to put together coaching staffs for the varsity, JV and freshman teams.
The 55-year-old coach guided the Coyotes’ football team for 23 seasons, from 1980 until 2002.
He led CHS to the playoffs 14 times, including section semifinal appearances in 1986 and 1998. Edwards’ squads reached the quarterfinals eight times.
Edwards is the only CHS coach to win a Marmonte League game.
Assistant principal Eric Anhalt consulted with Principal C.J. Foss before “challenging” Edwards to take the position on June 15.
“I was looking for an outstanding teacher, an experienced coach and a quality leader to work with our student-athletes,” Anhalt said. “He happened to be a person who was our athletic director and was here all along.”
Although Edwards is technically the interim coach, Anhalt said the decision to stay beyond next season is entirely up to the coach.
“From what I know of the situation, Coach Edwards stepping down from Calabasas football (in 2002) was not under his own terms,” the assistant principal said.
“When I posed the challenge to Coach Edwards and asked if he thought he could compete in the Marmonte League, without batting an eye he made it clear that that was his intention. We haven’t had that kind of resolve around here for a while,” Anhalt said.
Although Anhalt said he was excited to have Edwards back on the sidelines, he also thought Martin built a solid foundation.
“I feel he implemented a program that can be the basis for turning our football team around,” Anhalt said. “Now it is up to Coach Edwards and the players to seize an opportunity.”
Edwards will try to revive Calabasas football, which has lost 47 of 49 Marmonte games all-time.
“What I’m trying to do is create a positive attitude with the players,” he said. “Our motto is ‘Hold the rope.’ If we all pull at the same end of the rope, we will be successful.”