Longtime Ceres High School coach Brett Johnson has been named interim leader of the Bulldogs’ football program.
The announcement was made after third-year head coach Clinton Goblirsch was relieved of his duties on Aug. 10.
This will be the second time Johnson has served as head coach of Ceres High.
“He has a ton of experience,” said John Bussard, athletic director. “He has a tremendous relationship with the kids.”
“I want to do what’s best for the kids,” said Johnson, who will also double as the team’s defensive coordinator. “It’s a huge responsibility. If we focus on winning each day, we’ll be right where we want to be at the end of the season.”
“We had a good coach before,” Bulldogs’ senior running back Tarrell Lee-Gill. “Coach Johnson taking over builds team morale and chemistry.”
“The world would be a better place if there were more coach Johnsons,” Ceres High senior quarterback Landyn Hudson said. “He’s a great man.”
Football has been a part of Johnson’s life for the past 47 years
He started coaching in 1991 after his playing career ended at Humboldt State.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” said Johnson, who contributed at outside linebacker for two seasons (1987, 1986) with the Lumberjacks.
Johnson began his 31st season of coaching football at Ceres High this fall.
An assistant with the Bulldogs for 25 years, Johnson filled the head-coach position from 2006-10. Ceres High amassed a 7-43 record during his first five years at the helm.
“When I came to Ceres in 1991, I got my first chance to coach under Butch Mendonca,” Johnson said. “The kids are what keep me coming back. I love watching them grow and helping them develop into better young men.”
Johnson takes over a program which has won just three league titles the past 54 years (1968, 1985, 2004).
Ceres High has made just six playoff appearances since 1985.
Clinton Goblirsch led the Bulldogs to their first postseason appearance in 16 years last fall.
“When you’re a coordinator, you focus on your side of the ball,” Johnson said. “In this situation, you have to be on the entire time. There are a million things that are different when you’re head coach.”
Johnson replaced Goblirsch just nine days before the start of the 2022 campaign.
Ceres High opened the season with a 54-21 victory against West of Tracy on Aug. 19.
The Bulldogs improved to 2-0 on the year after posting a 36-15 win at Amador on Friday in Sutter Creek.
“To transition this late in the season, I’m proud of how the kids responded,” Johnson said.
“It’s something we had to put behind us quickly,” Hudson stated. “We can’t dwell on a situation that isn’t in our hands.”
“We weren’t worried about having a letdown,” Lee-Gill added. “We weren’t going to let a coaching change bother us. We were focused.”
Assistant coaches Brandon Moring and Tim Giannosa share offensive-coordinator duties.
“We changed some terminology so they were more comfortable calling the offense,” Johnson said. “Defensively, there were no changes.”
Johnson moved to Ceres in 1991 after his wife Robin got hired to teach health and P.E. at CHS.
Brett has worked as a teacher for CUSD for 29 years.
He’s taught health and P.E. at Ceres High for 17 years.
He was a seventh-grade P.E. instructor at Mae Hensley Jr. High for 12 years.
Brett and Robin have been married for 30 years.
They met in college.
Brett and Robin have two sons.
Caden and Conner both attended Ceres schools and earned college scholarships.
Brett got to spend a lot of time with Caden and Conner at CHS.
They played football and did track and field.