Wearing aviator sunglasses while carrying an iPad and clipboard, 17-year-old Emily Regitz looks armed and ready for her duties as a coaching intern for Santa Margarita High’s football team.
You’ve heard of seniors transferring to a school for more playing time, for exposure to college recruiters or to try to be part of a championship team. Regitz might be the first to transfer to a school for the opportunity to coach in the Trinity League.
Her attitude is perfect for her goal to coach in college and the pros, and that is to never say no to any request, whether that means carrying water bottles, picking up trash or breaking down video.
Rams coach Sean McVay started the same way.
If you want to know how impressive Trent Mosley was last night scoring six TDs for Santa Margarita, take a look at highlights from Mike Catanzarite. And QB John Gazzaniga wasn't bad either in 51-45 win over Bishop Amat. pic.twitter.com/sJWrUsxCU8
— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) September 8, 2023
She’s known as Coach Em. She attended Newport Harbor last season learning from defensive coordinator Jon Arredondo while helping coach the defensive line, which just happened to include her brother, Trey. If big brother doesn’t mind being coached by his sister, no one should have any doubts.
They don’t at Santa Margarita.
“When she came, we told the guys, ‘Em is here, she’s going to coach.’ No matter your age, respect is paramount,” head coach Anthony Rouzier said. “They know when Coach Em is talking, they listen. It’s also a unique situation for her because she’s a student. She’s done a great job reading the room.
“You can walk in and be provided a platform for power and sometimes young coaches don’t know how to use that because they feel obligated to exercise it vs. building relationships. What Em has been impressive in is always be willing to help and not be ahead of any job. You have to be willing to do any job.”
Regitz said she was a soccer player for 12 years before giving up the sport after a series of injuries. She got involved watching her brother play football and soon concluded she wanted to become a coach. Getting up at 4:30 a.m. to prepare for Newport Harbor practices was no big deal.
At Santa Margarita, you can find her charting defensive plays next to Arredondo during games. Arredondo, Santa Margarita's new defensive coordinator, recommended her to Rouzier. She’s pretty occupied during school days not only with her own classes and homework but also preparing game cards, scout cards and practice plans for the football team.
She was busy on Thursday night. Santa Margarita defeated Bishop Amat 51-42 behind six touchdowns from sophomore Trent Mosley.
One of the requirements for a future college coach is evaluating talent, so Regitz was asked what she thought of Mosley, a receiver.
“Obviously he has speed and talent,” she said.
Then she compared him to the Rams’ Cooper Kupp, saying both have the “ability to shift around a lot.”
When it comes to passion and commitment, Coach Em certainly has that and more to pursue a path in coaching football.
"She invested in learning the language, the process and drills," Arredondo said.
So far, so good. She hasn't had to chew out any players and if any caused problems, there's always big brother Trey to come around. He's playing football at Wheaton College but knows his sister can handle things herself.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.