The day before Newport Harbor High School hired Peter Lofthouse to take over as football coach for Jeff Brinkley, the school literally cleaned house. Longtime assistants under Brinkley removed their items from the coaches’ office Monday and left to make way for a new regime.
The Sailors decided to go with Lofthouse, an outsider and a walk-on coach, instead of Matt Burns, a former player and coach under Brinkley, and a current teacher on campus, sources familiar with the situation said.
Athletic director Jerry Murray said Newport Harbor introduced Lofthouse, the former head football coach at San Diego Mesa College, to the football team on Tuesday afternoon as the successor to Brinkley. Murray referred to Lofthouse as “new blood.”
“They seemed interested. They seemed excited, so we’ll see,” Murray said of the nearly 50 players in attendance. “It’s all new.”
Being in charge of a high school football program is new to Lofthouse as well.
Lofthouse turns 37 on April 11. He said there will be added pressure following someone like Brinkley, the Sailors’ winningest coach who retired in January after 32 years at the helm.