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Giuliano leaves Pacifica to take Beckman job
IRVINE - Marcello Giuliano is coming back to Irvine to guide the Beckman football program, Athletic Director Lance Neal announced Tuesday.
Giuliano, 40, is a former Irvine High football standout who played under former Irvine coach Terry Henigan. He has been at Pacifica for the last six years, but he has been wanting to come back to the city where he was raised to coach and teach.
“I”m back home, in a manner of speaking,” Giuliano said Tuesday after meeting with his players in the school auditorium. “Now that I have kids of my own, this is such a nice place to be and hopefully if things go right, I can raise my family here. And I think Beckman is such an interesting school because it’s in the Tustin School District which has always been supportive of its athletics and the school is in Irvine and competes academically with Uni and Northwood and Irvine and Woodbridge.
“I’m interested in football and academics, so it seemed like a really good blend. Truth is, I’ve had my eye on this job for a long time.”
Giuliano started his head coaching stint in 2009, leading the Mariners to a 6-5-1 record. Pacifica was 7-4 in 2010. His Pacifica teams were 2-8 the past two years.
“We had some good years and some not so good years,” Giuliano said. “The school has changed a lot, but we had some really great football players and great young men. Certainly, recently we haven’t had as much success on the football field, but we’re really proud of the things we were able to do.”
Giuliano broke the news to his Pacifica players on Monday, calling it “gut-wrenching,” because of his bonds with the players.
“The relationships that get established are meaningful and you love those kids,” he said. “That was very difficult.”
Giuliano replaces Glen Fisher, who resigned after two seasons to take the coaching job at Costa Mesa.
Beckman was 4-6 overall and 1-4 in the Pacific Coast League last year and has missed the playoffs the last two seasons.
Neal, the athletic director, said that Giuliano was one of 27 candidates for the job. There were six finalists, but Giuliano stood out.
“He’s got background in the city of Irvine so he knows the Pacific Coast League coaches,” Neal said. “He teaches AP English so he understands the rigors of AP classes. The majority of our students participate in AP curriculum while they play in sports.
“He wants to be a good teacher and it’s important to us that our coaching staff be good teachers. I’ve watched his teams play. They play hard and always conduct themselves in a way that makes the school proud. He had all the pieces we were looking for.”
Giuliano played at Irvine High from 1988 to 1991, graduating in 1992. He was on Irvine’s CIF championship team in 1991.
He then earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UC Irvine.
Giuliano started coaching at Bishop Garcia Diego High School in Santa Barbara, then began coaching for Henigan at Irvine and then went to Sunny Hills for one year.
Giuliano will be the fifth head coach at Beckman since the school began playing varsity football in 2005. He will be third coach since 2011 but is hoping to bring some stability.
“I was at Pacifica for a long time and I live near there currently and it’s a wonderful situation for being close to my kids, so it would only be something to leave if I thought that the next destination provided more of the benefits for my family and for the kind of program I want to run.
“The goal obviously is to bring lasting stability and I do think that’s one of the real challenges and if I were the kids I would be skeptical as well.”
Giuliano said no final decision has been on assistant coaches, although some of the Pacifica coaches will follow him to Beckman.
“I’m looking forward to interviewing the coaches here on campus to see if my vision works with their’s,” he said.
Giuliano is optimistic that the program will be in good hands.
“Our goal is to compete with the best in the Pacific Coast League and put a product on the field that everybody in the Beckman community from the administration to the students to the parents can be proud of and make it a meaningful experience for the boys who are in the program,” Giuliano said.
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