A golden era is passing us by in San Diego.
A city, with a tremendous tradition of high school football players, is saying goodbye to the last of one of a kind, the long-serving high school football coach.
In a city that gave us high school legend wide receiver Charley Powell, Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen, the linebacker icon Junior Seau, the great safety John Lynch, and name after name of great talent, sometimes lost in the shuffle are the great coaches who developed those players.
The last of his era is stepping aside with the retirement of Oceanside Pirates coach John Carroll, retiring after a star studded career that included two state titles, 13-best San Diego section titles, and those yearly runs deep into the playoffs.
Carroll leaves Oceanside for health reasons, after a (248-75-6) career record, second best ever in San Diego high school history, in an era that spanned from 1989-thru this years (14-1) season.
A blood clot from a fall during practice, injuries from a sideline collision prior to that, he could no longer soldier on physically, even though he would in spirit.
Accomplishment and longevity are the most impressive things about the coaching ranks in the history of the game here.
Herb Meyer won 339-games in a brilliant career that spanned Oceanside onto El Camino. Bennie Edens enormous run covering 4-decades at Point Loma, netted him 239-wins. John Shacklett, at an ever-changing Morse High School, complotted 4-decades on that sidelines, bringing 229-wins to those fans.
We may never see that again. The pressures of coaching, the hours it takes, the goals to move into administration, the struggle for funding, takes a toll.It forever changes the role of the leadership of young players today.
In the Hall of Champions at Balboa Park, there are salutes to the great teams of San Diego, the Chargers, the Padres, the Aztecs. There are displays for athletes from all walks of life.
Now we should erect a true Coaches Corner for the era we have just come thru, Carroll to Meyer, Edens to Shacklett, men who led, influenced, and won, from 1955 thru 2014.
Gold Stars for a golden era of high school football coaching we will likely never-ever see again.