SMC head football coach Gifford Lindheim leaves SMC for El Camino
Almost five months ago, as the last few seconds ticked off the scoreboard at Corsair Field, SMC Football was about to win the SCFA American Division Championship Bowl. Several of the SMC football players swiftly maneuvered their way over to their head coach with a Gatorade cooler above their shoulders. As they reached the coach, the players dumped the iced liquid over the head of the unsuspecting coach. The glory that head coach Gifford Lindheim brought to the football team, to the SMC athletics program and to the college as a whole has been unprecedented. However, all good things come to end. On the evening of March 17th, Lindheim announced his decision to vacate his position as head coach of the SMC football program through a Facebook post.
"In the past five seasons...we have won five conference championships and thirty-four straight conference games," said Lindheim. "In that span, hundreds of players have experienced what it feels like to be a champion."
The 2015 SMC football season was arguably one of the best seasons in the program's history. The Corsairs finished off the first undefeated season in thirty-five years. Under coach Lindheim, Corsairs football has been synonymous with winning.
"SMC averaged less than two wins per season in the five season before I arrived," said Lindheim.
After such a monumental accomplishment and all the success of the football program, Lindheim was only part-time faculty.
"I have been part time at SMC for the past seven years," said Lindheim. "I was teaching off campus until 3PM for my livelihood each day and then coming to SMC to run the football program."
In the Facebook post, Lindheim announced his decision to continue his coaching career at SMC rival, El Camino College.
"They offered me a full-time teaching job on campus," said Lindheim. "They are committed to supporting the program with what it needs to be successful."
El Camino College was able to attract the former SMC coach with a full-time job offer as well as the ability to coach in a recently completed $40 million dollar stadium.
In regards to the vacant head coach position, Lindheim offered some advice for whoever succeeds him. "Be yourself. Tackle each hurdle as they come. And welcome to the SMC Family."
The next head coach for the SMC football team will have big shoes to fill with the high expectations at a program that has grown accustomed to winning.