Pacheco’s David Snapp knew in January the 2018 season would be his last as the Panthers head coach.
Snapp broke the news to Pacheco athletic director Charlie Pikas on Thursday morning and then to his players that night at the end of the team banquet.
“My three best friends in Morgan Hill and my wife and kids were the only ones who knew,” Snapp said. “Have you ever tried to keep a secret for 11 months? It’s not easy.”
Snapp has been Pacheco’s only varsity head coach since the school opened in 2010. He led the Panthers to their first league championship this fall with Pacheco finishing with a 9-3 record.
The 47-year-old finishes with a 46-40 record in eight seasons.
“When we started the football program had 38 cents in the football account,” Snapp said. “There was a big pile of non inventoried equipment piled up in a Pacheco classroom. I feel like we have built quite a bit of success from that on and off the field.”
Snapp said the big reason he’s stepping down is to spend more time with his family.
He says it’s also probably time for someone new to lead the program. Snapp said toward the middle of last season he felt his voice was becoming stale. Maybe it’s time for the players to hear a new one.
“Honestly, I’m tired,” Snapp said.
Pikas said he hopes to fill the position by winter break so the new coach can implement his program this spring.
“(Snapp) did everything we could have asked him to do and then some,” Pikas said. “He started a program from scratch and turned into a group that competes every year.”
Starting a program at the second high school in Los Banos wasn’t easy.
“There was a lot of resentment for whatever reason toward the whole idea of Pacheco,” said Snapp, who was previously an assistant coach at Los Banos High. “That created some high hurdles to overcome. To me, they are all kids of Los Banos and should be supported equally, but that wasn’t the case.
“We’re a self-made program. I never asked for handouts. I got told a lot that we only support the Tigers when I went out to talk to local businesses in the beginning. It was very disheartening.”
Snapp said that motivated him to elevate the program through hard work. Winning a share of the Western Athletic Conference championship in his final year definitely makes it easier to step away.
“I feel like we’re leaving the program on solid ground,” Snapp said. “There’s a good nucleus in place. We had 22 seniors on this year’s team, but we also had 30 juniors who played a lot.”