Fountain Valley football coach Jimmy Nolan, who helped stabilize a program dealing with coaching turnover, resigned Thursday after three seasons to spend more time with his family and devote more energy to his speed training business.
Nolan, 45, and his wife Taran have four children 10 years old or younger. The walk-on football coach also is in the 21st season operating his speed training business, Speed Kills.
Nolan said his clients now include prospects training for the NFL combine.
“I don’t want to turn those guys away,” he said. “It’s a lucrative business.”
Nolan said he will miss Fountain Valley, a program he was drawn to after the departure of coach Ray Fenton to rival Los Alamitos and the resignation of coach Justin Schaeffer after only two months in the spring of 2016.
Nolan played at Mater Dei but grew up in Fountain Valley. He viewed the Barons as an underdog program that he wanted to help.
“It’s all about the boys,” said Nolan, who arrived from Lakewood. “It worked out. … I’m proud that I left the program better than I found it.”
Fountain Valley went 1-9 in Nolan’s first season but bounced back to finish 7-5 in 2017 and reach the CIF-SS Division 6 quarterfinals. The Barons won their first playoff game since 2003.
The Barons went 5-6 this past season, losing in the first round of the Division 8 playoffs to Santa Ana.
Fountain Valley principal Morgan Smith said in a letter Thursday to football families that Nolan “created a pathway for our program’s future success” and said the program would be “forever grateful” to Nolan.
Nolan’s colorful career as a head coach includes stops at Cantwell-Sacred Heart, Laguna Beach, Centennial Compton and Carson.
“I’m always taking the job no one wants,” he said.
Fountain Valley could have a candidate on campus. David Gutierrez, recently fired as Costa Mesa’s head coach, teaches at Fountain Valley, Nolan confirmed.
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