Former Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick to relaunch football program at LA high school

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A former Cowboys cornerback will be back on the gridiron this fall, though he’ll have a decidedly different view: from the sidelines.

Orlando Scandrick, who played in Dallas for nine seasons, has been named the new head football coach at Playa del Ray’s St. Bernard High School in Los Angeles. Scandrick is a native of Torrance, California, about 15 miles away.

Scandrick inherits a program that hasn’t played a game since an abbreviated schedule in spring of 2021 and has seen uncertain times ever since.

Former coach Manuel Douglas resigned with one game to go in that shortened 2021 season. Douglas, who had been the focus of an investigation at his previous school, gave notice to St. Bernard the morning of the season finale, citing “personal reasons.”

The school later reported that it was “cooperating fully in an investigation by federal law enforcement concerning a former employee and volunteer” of the football program.

A large number of players quit the team following Douglas’s departure. The school’s principal and president also resigned over the summer.

Ex-NFL running back Steve Broussard was hired in May as the team’s new head coach, but the school ended up cancelling the Vikings’ fall season because it couldn’t field enough players.

Now St. Bernard turns to Scandrick. The Boise State alum was a fifth-round draft pick by the Cowboys in 2008. Over 125 game appearances with Dallas, he was in on 406 tackles and recorded 11.5 sacks. He also notched eight interceptions (with one returned for a touchdown) and forced seven fumbles.

Following the 2017 season, Scandrick was released upon the arrival in Dallas of defensive backs coach Kris Richard. He went on play one season with the Chiefs and part of another with the Eagles. He was released by Philadelphia in October 2019.

Now he’ll spearhead the effort to restart the Vikings varsity program; he met with parents and players in late April with hopes to recruit more St. Bernard’s students for the fall season.

“It’s a very unique challenge and very intriguing opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” the 35-year-old Scandrick told the Los Angeles Times. “We can start to rebuild a program from the ground up.”

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