Santa Margarita Catholic High School is pleased to announce the hiring of Rick Curtis the head varsity football coach and member of the faculty. Curtis will be entering his 37th year as a high school football coach, most recently guiding Northwood High School for the past 13 years. Prior to his tenure as Northwood’s Head Football Coach and Athletic Director, Curtis coached at Servite, University, Laguna Hills, Irvine, and now enters his first year at Santa Margarita. While at Irvine, Curtis served as the Athletic Director for 10 years, was the defensive coordinator for three consecutive CIF Championship teams in 1991, 1992, and 1993, and coached basketball, track, softball and golf. Coach Curtis has 29 years of experience as a business education and physical education teacher and is an adjunct professor at Concordia University in the Masters in Athletic Administration and Coaching Program.
After 14 years at Irvine High School, Curtis opened Northwood High School as its athletic director and head football coach in 1999. Coach Curtis received the NFL’s Coach of the Week award in October of 2000 and was a recipient of the CIF Southern Section’s Pursuing Victory with Honor in 2001. Curtis and his football coaching staff were named to coach in the 2004 South Orange County All-Star game and he led his team to a 22 – 8 victory in the annual Orange County classic. In addition to his teaching and coaching, Curtis has also served as an advisor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for the past 5 years.
“Coach Curtis is one of the finest veteran coaches and he is a tremendous all-around person,” athletic director Rich Schaaf said. “Our school and football program are fortunate to have a man of his caliber lead our student-athletes and continue to build upon the Eagle Tradition. I’m real excited for the team and the school to call Coach Curtis our head football coach.”
Curtis grew up in Mission Viejo and graduated from Mission Viejo High School before earning his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Cal State Fullerton, his teaching credential from the University of California, Irvine and his master’s degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University.
When asked what he felt Coach Curtis would bring to SMCHS, Principal Ray Dunne was more than encouraged.
“Coach Curtis brings a wealth of experience as an athletic administrator and varsity football coach to SMCHS. Beyond that he is a man of great integrity who is in coaching for all the right reasons; for him it is all about the students he teachers and the athletes he coaches. At his core he is a very spiritual man who lives his faith,” Dunne said. “I believe that his attention to the needs of his players; solid, ethical leadership of the overall program from Freshman level through Varsity; and a goal of helping each player use their God given talents to their fullest will be of great benefit to the players and football program of SMCHS. “
Coach Curtis and his lovely wife Mary, are the proud parents of 7 children; John, Steven, Leslie, Ashleigh, Bryan, Sean, and Blake.
SMCHS has a rich football tradition including four league championships, three CIF championships, and one state championship. The Eagles boast four CIF Players of the Year including Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer, class of 1998.