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Jim Hartigan steps down at JSerra, plans to pursue other jobs
Jim Hartigan has resigned as football coach at JSerra.
Hartigan, 56, coached JSerra for 10 seasons. His record there was 47-43.
Hartigan said he resigned to pursue other opportunities.
“It’s time for a change,” Hartigan said. “It’s time for me to see what else is out there and what challenges lie ahead.”
The Lions’ best season during Hartigan’s tenure was 2014, when they went 10-2 overall and finished second in the Trinity League with a 4-1 league record. JSerra won its first playoff game that year and also defeated Mater Dei for the first time. Hartgian was the Register’s Orange County Coach of the Year in ’14.
The Lions this season finished 5-6 overall, including a 55-24 loss to Centennial of Corona last week in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.
Hartigan was Santa Margarita’s first coach, hired there in 1986 when he was 26. He coached the Eagles to CIF championships in 1996 and ’97. He left to take the coaching position at Clovis West of Fresno, which he coached to a CIF title, before returning to Orange County to take the JSerra job in 2007.
He has 225 career coaching wins.
Hartigan said he “absolutely” wants to be an Orange County football head coach in 2017.
Edison already is accepting applications for its football coaching position that becomes open when Edison’s season ends. Dave White has announced that this season, his 31st as Edison’s head coach, would be his last running the school’s football program.
“Certainly that’s a great job, a great program with a great history,” Hartigan said. “That’s something I definitely would look into.”
Hartigan this past January signed a contract extension to be JSerra’s football coach through the 2019-2020 school year. Hartigan said the contract was terminated via a buyout. His last day at JSerra was Friday.
JSerra has undergone recent changes in its administration, including in the positions of president, principal and athletic director. Hartigan said the newer leadership did not push him out.
“We both agreed upon this,” Hartigan said.
Hartigan had been athletic director at JSerra for a few years, but had relinquished that position before this school year.