Former Stanford QB Randy Fasani takes helm of Ripon Christian football team

jcortez@modbee.comJuly 14, 2013 


San Jose State defensive end Chris Tandy chases Stanford quarterback Randy Fasani in the first quarter Saturday, Sept. 9, 2000, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)


— Who among us can list NFL quarterback, police officer, and tree salesman on a LinkedIn profile?

New Ripon Christian football coach Randy Fasani, that's who.

Fasani, an agricultural sales rep for Sierra Gold Nurseries, was one of the most coveted prep quarterbacks in the nation as a senior at Loomis' Del Oro High. He went on to star at Stanford and then played in four games for the Carolina Panthers during the 2002 season. After football, he served stints as a police officer in Visalia and Roseville before getting into ag sales.

"It seems like all my friends from college are in finance, or have started their own companies," said Fasani. "When they ask me what I'm doing, and I tell them that I sell trees, they think there's something wrong with me."

Fasani got involved with coaching during his days at Stanford, donating his time for youth camps. Then, while on the police force in Roseville, he was a Youth Service Officer, which allowed him to coach at Roseville High.

"I feel drawn to coaching youth sports," said Fasani. "It seems like everywhere work has taken me, I've been able to coach."

Former RC coach John VanderSchaaf asked Fasani to help out with the offense in 2010 — with a focus on the quarterbacks — and he became the offensive coordinator in 2011. Last year, Fasani served as OC and assistant head coach.

And now he's in the man in charge.

Sac-Joaquin Section schools have one week remaining before the dead period arrives on July 22. Teams can resume full practices on Aug. 12.

"It's been going pretty well so far," said Fasani, whose team opens the season on the road Sept. 6 at Elliot Christian in Lodi. "We're definitely excited with this group of kids and we'll definitely continue to surprise people with how our program is progressing.

"We're not interested in just getting to the playoffs, we're interested in winning a section title. Why not set the bar high?"

Fasani is just one of the new faces that will be roaming the sidelines this season.

Well, sort of new.

Rich Alkire and Tom Tyler are two Stanislaus District veterans who find themselves again serving as head coaches.

Alkire, who led Beyer High to a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff victory in 2011, will replace Rod Long at Modesto High. Long stepped down after 12 seasons. Alkire left Beyer after the 2011 season to join the staff at Gregori.

Tyler, who had a successful reign as Turlock's head coach from 1996 through 2005, has been the defensive coordinator at archrival Pitman for the past four seasons. He'll take over for Brandon Harris.

"Things are going pretty smooth," said Tyler, who was 67-39 during his time at Turlock. "The kids are working hard and having fun.

"With the dead period coming, there's not much you can do without using a ball and without pads, but we can work on conditioning and some mental things."

Turlock Christian will have a new coach this fall in Robert Kissee, who served as an assistant at Ripon Christian and as the freshman team's head coach at Gregori in recent years.

Kissee faces a huge challenge with a roster of just 16 players — he thinks two more might join up in the coming days — and no junior varsity program.

"We'll run a pistol set and we're going to try to go no-huddle," said Kissee, who admits that could be problematic with a small roster. "We're going to have to be creative; we've got to be quirky and challenge teams with tempo and scheme."

Kissee knew of these challenges when he took the job, but jumped at the chance anyway.

"The fact that Turlock Christian was willing to let me be a head coach, where Ripon Christian was not, is the reason I'm here," said Kissee. "I just don't have the background that Randy does, and I understand that."

Fasani, with his Pac-10 and NFL pedigree, figures to be the most intriguing new coach in the district. Certainly, being a former professional has to help.

"I'm not sure," said Fasani. "It's definitely opened some doors. I hope it opens some eyes and ears when I share my experiences.

"But I don't ever want to be the focus. I want the program to be highlighted for the players' accomplishments and not for my résumé."

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