Spring football began for the Half Moon Bay High School team with offensive coordinator Keith Holden as the organizer.
It ended with Holden named the head football coach.
The school last week announced Holden’s appointment. He will take over for Matt Ballard, who stepped down earlier this spring to take a coaching job at Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach.
The hiring was the last missing piece to this year’s puzzle.
Prior to his stepping down, Ballard had Half Moon Bay’s preseason schedule completed, the passing leagues entered and practice sessions with other teams done.
The Cougars are also implementing a new offense, requiring chalk talks between the Half Moon Bay coaching staff and others. Ballard set up the meetings.
With Ballard curious about the new offense and all it entails, he gave up being defensive coordinator, with Mike Seaton taking over that chore.
“Matt was going to do more overseeing of the program,” Holden said.
Shortly, Ballard will be gone and Holden, a 1992 graduate of Half Moon Bay, will be the one making those decisions.
“Matt really cared about what was going on here,” Holden said. “He didn’t want to leave the program high and dry. We talked a lot before he made his decision.”
Holden doesn’t anticipate many changes with the departure of Ballard.
“I’m not going to make all of the decisions by myself,” Holden said. “I’m going to get input from the other coaches.”
Holden has the complete support of Ballard.
“I think it’s awesome for Keith and the program,” Ballard said in an email. “His role has been crucial throughout the years, and he has been behind everything we’ve done. I could never have done this job — and our team would never have been nearly as successful — without Keith. I can’t stress that enough. Nobody knows more about our program and kids than Keith. I may have been head coach on paper, but in many ways it was a shared title that he already has years of experience at.”
Longtime Assistant Coach Don Dias also has voiced his support of Holden. Dias was Holden’s offensive line coach.
“It’s the best thing that could have happened to the program,” Dias said. “Keith is familiar with the program, the kids on campus and the caliber of the kids.”
Holden was once one of those Half Moon Bay students.
“When we give out the Jack Coolidge trophy, I played for Coach Coolidge,” Holden said. “When we give out the Doug Murphy Award, I played with Doug.”
Half Moon Bay participates in its first passing league June 16 at Terra Nova.