Mater Dei-Santa Ana football coach Bruce Rollinson, the winningest active coach in California, announced a few minutes ago on Twitter he will retire at the end of this, his 34th season.
"After playing at Mater Dei more than 50 years ago, 47 years coaching at Mater Dei and 34 years as the head coach, making this decision at this time with the entire starting line-up returning next year, should make it easier for the next coach and Mater Dei to continue with our winning tradition," he wrote.
Currently ranked No. 1 in the country by all services — including SBLive Sports — the Monarchs are 10-0 this season. Rollinson's career record is 337-85-2.
He announced just days before the team's big showdown against St. John Bosco on Oct. 7 that he wanted to come back for his 35th season.
“I feel good, barring any health setbacks," he told Dan Albano of the Orange County Register at the time. "It’s not being selfish coming back, because I have so much young talent coming back but I like where I’m now, trying to develop these kids and mold them into young men."
Evidently something changed from that first week in October.
Just after that announcement, the Monarchs defeated Bosco 17-7 and Mater Dei returned as the unanimous No. 1 team in the country.
His team takes on JSerra Catholic Friday in a Southern Section Division I quarterfinal playoff game on Friday.
The Monarchs, riding a 27-game win streak, are expected to roll into the Nov. 25 finals to face Bosco again at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
Rollinson and the Monarchs were coming off another national championship season, but one filled with controversy over an alleged hazing incident in the Mater Dei locker room, along with other reports of alleged misconduct against the football program.
Many weren't sure if Rollinson would be back for the 2022 season.
He said in his Tweet that "the greatest joy in my life has been my involvement as a mentor to the players, staff and coaches and be able to participate in their and their families' lives.
""Every day I work hard to be a better husband, father, grandfather, friend, teacher, coach and man. I love this great high school and Mater Dei football. ...
"In the meantime, let's play football. Go Monarchs."
Matt Barkley took to Twitter, praising his former coach for shaping "boys into men," and bringing the "best out of all of his players."
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