YUCCA VALLEY — Head coach of the Yucca Valley High School football team, John Stewart, announced his resignation from the program on Monday afternoon. Stewart will be leaving the team after one season; he led the team to the playoffs and to the first win against Twentynine Palms High School in 15 years.
Stewart told YVHS principal Justin Monical that his decision to leave the team came because he was courted by Big Bear High School to take over their program. In the conversation, Stewart told Monical that he ultimately sought the position at the Big Bear because he longed to work for the school and he felt the YVHS community was not the right fit for his family, according to a press release from Morongo Unified School District.
Stewart announced his resignation to the team on Tuesday in the team group chat.
“I appreciate each and every one of you who worked hard to play together as a team,” he said to his former players. “I enjoyed coaching y’all. I hope nothing but the best for each of you.”
The resignation came as a shock to the Yucca Valley High School community, the school district press release stated. "After the team's success in 2019, conversations about the future of the program, the potential for additional coaches and site-funded clinics for coaches’ education through the off-season pointed to a strong future for the Trojan football program," according to the MUSD statement.
“John Stewart is an excellent coach whose professional resume speaks for itself. He has coached in a number of different interscholastic situations over the years and has been successful in supporting athletes’ aspirations during his tenure and securing wins over losses," Monical said in a released statement. “We are hopeful that Coach Stewart finds what he is looking for in his next position and wish him the best of luck, and we thank him for what he has done for our student athletes.”
In a phone interview on Thursday Stewart said that he was thankful for his time at YVHS but was excited for this new venture. He is scheduled to be officially appointed as Big Bear High School head football coach and to a teaching position at the high school in their school board meeting next week.
“I enjoyed working with the kids, my staff and the administration team at the school,” he said. “I just felt that it was time to move on.”
Since 2003 the Trojans have had five head coaches: Larry Thomas, Tim Cannavo, Andrew Amosa, JD Thompson and Stewart. The athletic department at the school is now looking to fill the position and is assembling an interview committee to review applicants by the middle of next month. The panel hopes to make a recommendation for the new coach to the Morongo Unified School District and Board of Education by the beginning of June.