Mike Glines, the architect of one of the most decorated high school football programs in Stanislaus District history, will return to the sideline after a decade away.
Glines has joined Tim Garcia's staff at Davis High as the defensive coordinator. Glines fills the void left by Matt Chachere, who accepted the varsity job at Ceres.
"In my opinion, he's the greatest coach our town has ever had," Garcia said of Glines. "His record speaks for itself. He's got a tremendous work ethic and his preparation and passion for the game is second to none."
Glines, 73, led Central Catholic to 12 Sac-Joaquin Section championships and a CIF State Bowl appearance before stepping down in 2007. He coached the school's baseball team for more than two decades, adding 11 more section titles, including 10 in a row.
A regular at the weekly Modesto Quarterback Club, Glines said he missed Friday nights.
Davis will be his first coaching job at a public school.
It wasn't the challenge of revitalizing a program that lured him back into football. It was the chance to work alongside Garcia, whose father, Tim Sr., quarterbacked for Glines at Central Catholic in the 1970s.
"I want to see if I can help the kids," said Glines, whose coaching resume also includes Modesto Junior College football and Central Catholic softball. "It's time to give back."
Garcia called it a full-circle moment.
Glines coached Garcia in Little League and Pop Warner, and then gave the Davis and University of Mary graduate his first coaching job. In 2004, Glines named Garcia the Central Catholic junior varsity coach.
"I grew up around him," Garcia said. "He's been a mentor to me forever. I still have a lot to learn. I'm young in my career.
"It's crazy to think he's back and he's going to be working with our kids. I'm going to be like a fly on the wall, learning and asking for advice."
Glines had two stints as Central Catholic's football coach, 1970 to 1978 and 1995 to 2007. He won 204 games with 12 section titles in three divisions. He retired from football following the Raiders' 35-21 loss to St. Bonaventure in the CIF Division III State Bowl.
After 11 years away, much has changed about the game — for instance, video service Hudl and the spread offense had yet to catch on — but Glines refuses to complicate a sport he's coached since he was 23.
"The one thing that hasn't changed: There's still 11 players on each side," he said. "The biggest change I see is that there's a lot more spread offense, but I've defensed that before."
Davis will remain an even-front defense under Glines with a few wrinkles and twists. The Spartans allowed 34.1 points per game and lost seven of their last eight games.
But as the school transitions into the Western Athletic Conference, Glines hopes the program can tap into its old glory. Signs are encouraging.
More than 70 kids took part in a recent morning workout, and Glines has scheduled sit-downs with some of the area's top football minds, including Oakdale's Trent Merzon and Central Catholic's Roger Canepa.
Glines says he's feeling reborn.
"When I get into the gym with the kids, it's like magic," Glines said. "It's not what I've done or how much I know. It's about 'what can we do right now with this group?' "