Abraham Navarro made his head coaching debut with his alma mater on Aug. 25.
Central Valley High School's freshman football team erased a two-touchdown deficit in rallying for a 27-13 win over visiting Atwater at Bulldog Stadium.
"To be honest, I was a little nervous," Abraham said. "I was more worried about failing and not winning. I just want to see the kids succeed. That's where I get my joy from."
Navarro originally planned to coach with the Ceres Seahawks Youth Football & Cheer Organization for the third year in a row this fall.
Abraham had a change of heart after talking with Central Valley varsity head coach Scott Edwards.
"He had an interest in getting involved," Edwards said. "I gave him the opportunity. He's got a passion for the school and program. He's got a lot of energy and ideas which are good. It's a good situation."
Navarro was a volunteer coach with the Hawks' junior-varsity team during the 2013-14 school year.
"I always went to games and helped out after I graduated," Navarro said. "I didn't ask for anything in return. I just wanted to be a part of the program. I really enjoy being here. People trust me here. I see it as a big deal. I'm the only coach on the staff that played football at Central Valley."
Abraham graduated from Central Valley in 2013.
He was recognized as the school's top male athlete his senior year.
Navarro's name is displayed on the Golden Hawk Athlete Award banner inside Central Valley's gymnasium.
Navarro earned eight varsity letters during his prep athletic career, including four in football, two in basketball, one in swimming and one in baseball.
Abraham was a Valley Oak League honorable-mention pick in football during the 2009-10 school year.
Navarro totaled eight touchdowns and just one interception while starting six games at quarterback.
"I wasn't the most talented player," Navarro said. "Nothing was given to me. I always had to work hard. I always had a chip on my shoulder. I was a student of the game. I've learned a lot from coach Edwards. He's been my biggest mentor. He's been to multiple places and had success. He's not just a good football coach. He's a good man. He has the right mentality. He does stuff the right way."
Navarro always envisioned returning to Central Valley to coach football.
"It's like running a business," he said. "You got to be prepared for every aspect. It's stressful. That's the nature of being a head coach. I'm very hard on my kids. But I'm going to show them I care for them. My goal is to do what I can to help make them successful football players and men in life."