From the Daily Journal archives
A familiar face, Frank Moro, takes over South City football
Frank Moro guided Warriors’ program from 2002 to 2013
By Terry Bernal Daily Journal Staff
Dec 9, 2021
Frank Moro addresses his South City football team during the 2004 season. Moro, who was the Warriors head coach from 2002 to 2013, agreed to become the school’s coach again, beginning the 2022 season.
Photo courtesy of Joey Moro
After not fielding a varsity football team this season, South San Francisco High School made two major announcements this week — the varsity team will return in 2022, and that team will be coached by Frank Moro.
Moro, who previously coached the Warriors from 2002-13, will return as the team’s varsity head coach next season, it was announced Wednesday. Although he stepped down as coach in 2013, Moro remained on campus as a teacher, and previously served as athletic director for three years.
After Moro’s first coaching tenure, his former assistant coach, Jay Oca, took over the program. Since Oca moved to Capuchino to take over the football program there in 2018, South City has had three varsity football coach. All were off-campus coaches. And none of them won a varsity game. The Warriors have lost 24 straight games dating back to their last victory, under Oca, in 2017.
“Ever since Jay Oca left, it’s been three off-campus coaches,” said Matt Schaukowitch, South San Francisco’s athletic director. “It’s one of those sports, if you’re not constantly with the kids, encouraging them to play, and walking the hallways … they’re not going to come to you.”
South City fielded a junior-varsity team under head coach Dion Evans this season and celebrated one win Oct. 28 over Mills. The program had no seniors this season, but currently has approximately 35 players overall.
Moro said there will absolutely be a varsity team in 2022.
“Oh yeah, it’s going to happen,” Moro said Wednesday. “I met with 30 of them (players) today and there’s probably another 10 that I’m working on. … There will be a varsity team next year.”
Moro said Evans laid the groundwork for the program this season. Ultimately, Evans — an off-campus coach — was not offered the job for the 2022 season. It is true of all off-campus coaches at public schools, that they work exclusively with one-year contracts and must reapply for coaching positions each-and-every season.
Because Moro is an on-campus employee, the open coaching position did not have to be posted publicly before his being hired.
“[Evans] did a good job,” Moro said. “And they were moving in the direction of getting both programs going. But it didn’t happen this year. And that weighed.”
Moro said he didn’t have any ambition to take over the program at the outset of the 2021-22 school year.
“I was happy with playing bad golf and relaxing,” he said.
He was offered the job last week, to which Moro said he wanted to take the weekend to think about it. He informed Schaukowitch Monday he’d take the job.
“I thought about the old times and how it was good,” Moro said. “I’ve had alumni talk to me. And not having a team this year … people have not been thrilled with not having a varsity team.”
Schaukowitch said Moro’s on-campus employ should accelerate South City’s football rebuild.
“He’s well organized, well prepared,” Schaukowitch said. “There’s not another guy that enjoys being around kids more than Frank Moro and I think that is going help to get the extra buy-in that we need from the kids to move forward with the varsity program.”
Moro is a 1982 graduate of South San Francisco. He originally served as an assistant coach under Ben White, who stepped down as the Warriors’ head coach after the team advanced to the Central Coast Section Division III playoff semifinals. South City returned to the CCS playoffs in 2002, 2005 and 2011 under Moro.
“He’s always cared about football,” Schaukowitch said. “He’s big into the history of the program because he’s alumni.”
Schaukowitch said South City’s decision to drop the varsity football team in 2021 was always meant to be a temporary solution.
“That was always our plan when we decided to go only JV play this year, was to return to varsity status next year,” Schaukowitch said.
Ensuring that objective was a big catalyst in Moro accepting the job.
“I don’t want to see the program go,” Moro said.