This summer, Charles Spikes has seen the Kimball High football team’s potential to become a winning team in town and in the Valley Oak League.
Now, he’s eager to see what his 19 years of coaching experience can add to the Jaguars during the 2013 season as new head coach.
Spikes, who accepted the job on Monday, July 22, plans to implement the coaching philosophies he learned as an assistant coach at West High from 2000 to 2012, including 10 years under former West coach Steve Lopez.
"You have to develop a culture of hard work," Spikes said. "That’s one of the things the kids get hit over the head with every day. Nothing in life is given to you. It has to be earned."
Spikes, 39, emerged as the top contender for the head coaching job when Kimball and Tracy Unified School District administrators interviewed candidates two weeks ago.
According to TUSD spokeswoman Jessica Cardoza, the school district Board of Trustees will vote on Spikes’ appointment at its Aug. 13 meeting.
At West, Spikes was the offensive line coach when the Wolf Pack played in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship game in 2005. A season later, he was defensive coordinator when West went to the division semifinals.
Spikes said that during the past three years with former West coach Matt Loggins, he’s seen the importance of sound fundamentals.
"It doesn’t have to be overly complex, what you do, but your kids have to be good at what they’re doing," he said. "It’s not what you know. It’s what the kids can do that’s important."
Spikes moved to Kimball High as an assistant coach in March when Loggins was hired as the head coach and brought most of the West coaching staff with him. Loggins accepted a job as athletic director at Clovis West High School in June, and Spikes and other assistant coaches continued working with the Jaguars during the summer.
Spikes said the other assistant coaches who followed Loggins to Kimball will make up the core of his own coaching staff.
"We’re keeping our entire staff intact, and I’m very excited about that because there are some talented coaches on the staff," Spikes said.
Steve Lopez said he expects his one-time assistant is well prepared to lead a successful Kimball team.
"First off, he really cares about the kids," Lopez said. "He’s done all of the groundwork and the hard work it takes to get to a head coaching job."
Tracy High football coach Matt Shrout said he looks forward playing Spikes and the Jaguars.
"I think he’s the best guy for the job, as far as people I know," Shrout said. "He will care about those kids and get them to do the right thing."
Spikes is a 1991 graduate of Tracy High and played offensive line and linebacker under Wayne Schneider. He played football at Grossmont Community College in El Cajon before earning a bachelor’s degree in public management from San Diego State University.
During his senior year at San Diego State, he began coaching football at Sweetwater High in National City. He was an assistant varsity coach and head junior varsity coach for six years before he moved back to Tracy in 2000.
He took a job at Jefferson School, where he teaches seventh-grade language arts, social studies and reading. He has no immediate plans to change his teaching job, but he does expect to teach at Kimball eventually.
• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or email@example.com.