Longtime football coach Lugo accepts athletic director and head coach job at Mountain View

January 21, 2022 — by Andrew Lin
The 14-year football coach and PE and health teacher built a strong program that fell on hard times in recent years.

After  14 years here, well-respected head football coach and P.E. teacher Tim Lugo has moved to Mountain View High as their new athletic director, head football coach and PE teacher. 

Lugo said steadily declining football participation in recent years was his primary reason for leaving his job here. This past season, there were only 17 players on the varsity team by the end of the season. Fewer players led to increased injuries, and the team eventually needed to forfeit late-season games because they lacked healthy bodies.

Lugo noted that the lack of a full JV team this past year led to inexperienced players joining varsity, many of whom were unable to properly bond and learn to play with one another.

“If you don’t have that brotherhood — everybody rowing the boat in the same direction — it doesn’t work well,” Lugo said. 

He recalls a trip the football team took to Lake Tahoe years ago. While the players initially underperformed and were uncoordinated, after four days of eating meals and consistently playing together, their teamwork improved and they were far more successful on the field, beginning a winning tradition. 

“The more you sweat, grind and hurt together, the easier it is,” Lugo said. “All the hours in the weight room and all the conditioning we do in the summer to get ready for the season is a shared experience, and that unity brings [the team] together.” 

Another reason Lugo is departing is that the Mountain View-Los Altos district has a significantly higher salary schedule than LGSUHSD, even after the salary increase that the district recently agreed to with teachers. Although Lugo values the connection he built with his students and fellow teachers over his many years here, he said that his dedication to coaching football as well as his need to financially support himself made it necessary for him to pursue a career at a different school.

“When I saw a football coach position open at Mountain View High, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Lugo said. 

Lugo has been considering a job change since last year. To keep his options open, he resigned from his position as the athletic director last year and started looking for other jobs in the area.

Replacing Lugo as the new head coach will be former assistant offensive coordinator Steve Matos, who has experience coaching football and is now part of the special education staff. 

One of Lugo’s hallmarks as a coach was in creating innovative offenses that could rack up 40 or 50 points a game. Numerous quarterbacks were fostered under his watch who excelled and allowed the team to compete with other top level schools.

“Our reputation is of being an offensive powerhouse, and that’s thanks to him,” assistant principal Matt Torrens said. “The numbers our quarterbacks put up have been tremendous. He’s had a long string of successes with football teams that have competed with Wilcox, Paly, Los Gatos, schools we had no business playing along with.” 

Lugo’s coaching legacy also includes multiple CCS appearances as well as the Facons’ historic 21-17 home win over Los Gatos in 2010, the first and only regular season victory over their cross-district rivals since the 1980s. 

In addition, his influence has extended with the branches of young coaches he has mentored, many of whom have found positions as the head coaches for other schools, Torrens said.

Though senior captain Parsa Hashemi said he is sad to see Lugo go — considering Lugo’s bond with the team and the years of experience he’s acquired — he is optimistic that Matos will fare well.

“I wish [Lugo] the best of luck and future success at Mountain View,” Hashemi said.

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