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CHS football head coach relieved of his duties
• Clinton Goblirsch cites power struggle for removal
Clinton Goblirsch was relieved as head coach of Ceres High School's football program on Aug. 10.

Clinton Goblirsch will no longer serve as head coach of Ceres High School's football program.

The 2002 CHS grad was relieved of his duties on Aug. 10.

Bulldog Athletic Director John Bussard refused to talk about specifics related to Goblirsch's termination, which occurred just nine days before the start of the 2022 season.

"You know I can't say much," Bussard said. "It's a personnel issue."

"I was removed and it wasn't voluntary," stated Goblirsch, 38. "I was fired. I requested in writing specific reasons as to why and was told that wouldn't be provided. I requested specific examples of times I didn't fulfill my job responsibilities. And they said that wasn't going to happen. I always did my job. I did everything I was supposed to and I believe I did it very well."

Goblirsch met with Bussard on Aug. 8 and Bussard and Associate Principal Lonnie Cornell on Aug. 9 prior to being fired.

Goblirsch's unwillingness to implement three new directives imposed by Bussard ultimately cost him his job.

"The directives were emailed individually to me and emailed separately to other members of the coaching staff," Goblirsch said. "I believe the directives went against the philosophy and expectation that's been built here over the last couple years. I feel like I was being pressured into how to run the program."

The first directive allows players to join the football team as late as Aug. 19.

Ceres High staged its first practice for the 2022 season on July 25.

"It's the first time since I've been here that there's been a set directive like that," Goblirsch said. "The reasoning that was given was to be in compliance with Central Valley High School and that was how they were able to grow their numbers. It undercuts the time commitment guys put in during the spring, summer and first month of practice."

The second directive allows any coach on staff to contact any player that has been kicked off the team and bring said player back.

"That undermines my decision as the head coach," Goblirsch said.

"Any player that was removed from the team missed too many practices," he added.

The third directive calls for any further removal of a player to be approved by Bussard.

"It's micro-management over my decisions running the program," Goblirsch said. "We want kids that are committed to the program and will be there by the first day of practice. I stand behind how I ran the program. Every decision that was made was for the overall benefit and success of the program."

Rosanna Herrera's son was removed from Ceres High's football team for leaving practice after a family problem at home and was not given a chance to explain the situation.

"I really commend CHS for the new directive of going through Bussard before removing a player from the team!" Herrera stated in a post on Instagram. "I get that these boys are being taught responsibility and sportsmanship but sometimes these boys have personal things going on at home that effects their practice attendance or performance."

Preston Durham turned in his football gear a week before the start of the season.

"He’d kick kids off for having family responsibilities," Durham wrote in the comment section on the Courier's Facebook page. "Work, babysitting, etc. The kids including myself have lives outside of football. We are there majority of the time on the field 4 out of the 5 days of practice. I had to miss 1-2 days for work to pay for my gas and insurance on my truck, and if I wasn’t working those 1-2 days, I was watching my sister. I had no choices. He begged me to play over summer and I showed up after I told him I was working and babysitting. He told me that wasn’t a big deal. But obviously it was for him to kick me off 1 week prior to season. Sad he’s gone but he needs to understand people have lives and responsibilities and be more understanding."

Goblirsch didn't get a chance to say goodbye to his team following his dismissal.

"I wasn't permitted to address the players as a group," he said. "I appreciate their commitment and all the hard work. I have no doubt they'll be successful this year."

Goblirsch will continue to teach five periods of government/economics and one period of U.S History at Ceres High.

He resigned as head coach of the school's baseball program via email on Aug. 15.

"I'm going to fulfill my contract (as a teacher) and do my job," he said. "That's part of my obligation."

Goblirsch might request for a site change or seek employment elsewhere next school year.

"It's undetermined where I'll be teaching at in 2023-24," Goblirsch said. "And that's from me. I might be looking at jobs outside the district."

Goblirsch hasn't ruled out coaching again.

"There's no set time frame," he said. "I'll probably get back into it at some point. I'll make that decision when something comes about. I love both sports. I enjoy competition."

Goblirsch started coaching at Ceres High School in 2006.

He had a career record of 7-8 since being promoted to varsity football head coach in 2020. The Bulldogs totaled just eight wins from 2016-19, finishing 0-10 in 2019 and 1-9 in 2018.

"He (Goblirsch) got our program pointed in the right direction," Bussard said. "He upgraded our image. He did a lot of good things."

"I was told by the athletic director the football program wasn't in good shape during the Tuesday meeting," Goblirsch said. 

The Bulldogs advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the first time since 2004 last fall, ending a 16-year drought.

Ceres High compiled a 5-6 overall record and finished in fifth place in the Western Athletic Conference standings with a 3-4 mark.

The Bulldogs outscored their opponents, 336-224.

Ceres High won five of its first seven games. The Bulldogs topped Johansen twice and West, Beyer and Pacheco once.

Ceres High finished 2-2 overall and in fourth place in the WAC South standings (1-2) during the 2020 COVID-shortened season. Schedules consisted of just five games and no playoffs. Ceres High's home game against Pacheco was canceled because of coronavirus-testing issues.

"The program has shown significant growth the last couple years and it will continue this year," Goblirsch said.

Goblirsch was offensive coordinator for Ceres High's football program for six seasons (2006-09, 2018-19).

He was defensive backs coach for one season (2014).

He was junior-varsity head coach for five seasons (2010-11, 2015-17).

Goblirsch served as head coach of Ceres High's baseball program for seven seasons (2016-22).

The Bulldogs amassed an 80-83 record and qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs three times (2022, 2019, 2017) under his guidance.

Ceres High finished 23-7, second in the WAC standings (12-3) and advanced to the semifinals of the Division-IV postseason tournament during Goblirsch's second year at the helm.

"I've been lucky to have good coaching staffs and players in both programs," Goblirsch said. "They pushed to meet the expectation."

Goblirsch was a multi-sport athlete at Ceres High.

He played football, basketball and baseball.

Goblirsch was named the school’s Male Athlete of the Year in 2002.

Brother Derrick (2004, 2005) and father Rick (1976) both won the same award during their prep athletic careers with the Bulldogs.

Mother Kimli (class of 1977) was also a standout athlete at Ceres High.

Derrick was promoted to head coach of Central Valley High School's football program in 2020. He coached the Hawks' baseball team for the past nine years. Goblirsch stepped down following this past season to spend more time with his family and focus on football.

“I was born and raised in Ceres,” Clinton Goblirsch said during a past interview with the Courier. “I graduated from there. I always knew I wanted to be a teacher and coach in high school. Being able to come back to my alma mater is special.”