If you haven't heard of De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) High football coach Bob Ladouceur, perhaps this will add some perspective on his legendary status: Jim Caviezel, the actor who played Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, will portray him in an upcoming Hollywood film.
California's all-time winningest prep football coach, Ladouceur stepped down from the position he's held for the past 34 seasons at a press conference on Friday afternoon, making Thursday's Contra Costa Times report official. The 58-year-old led the Spartans to a 15-0 record and a fourth straight CIF Open Division state title this past season.
"It's been just a wonderful ride," said Ladouceur.
As expected, De La Salle offensive line coach Justin Alumbaugh will assume head coaching duties, and Ladouceur will continue to be a consigliere of sorts, remaining part of the program "in some capacity." His defensive coordinator for the last 32 years, Terry Eidson, and the remainder of the coaching staff will stay intact.
"I've told everyone he's not going to retire entirely," Eidson told the Contra Costa Times. "He loves coaching. What he's going to do, it's going to be something at De La Salle. ... He's not going to quit coaching."
Ladouceur compiled a 399-25-3 career record, and his .938 winning percentage is a national record among coaches with 200 or more wins. He won five Open Division state championships (4 straight) and 28 North Coast Section titles (21 straight), including another national record of 151 consecutive victories from 1992-2003.
"He knows what each kid can give him, and he's relentless in getting that out of them," added Eidson. "That's his greatest strength as a coach. He doesn't just give up and say, 'This is not going to be the year.' He keeps pushing until they reach their potential."
Ladouceur's list of former players includes NFL products Amani Toomer and Maurice Jones-Drew. His record winning streak inspired Neil Hayes to chronicle the team's 2002 season in a book entitled, "When the Game Stands Tall."
And that's why Caviezel will be portraying the California coaching god on the big screen.
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