This article originally appeared in the fall 2015 Harker Quarterly.
In April, Mike Tirabassi joined Harker as head football coach, but he’s a known quantity on Davis Field as he was Harker defensive coordinator in 2012 and offensive coordinator in 2013. Previously, he was head coach at Pinewood High School and JV offensive coordinator at Santa Margarita High School.
“My coaching philosophy is very simple,” Tirabassi said. “Use football as a medium for developing life skills.” He believes learning these skills can result in people who improve both themselves and their communities. “As long as we stay true to that vision, competitive success will take care of itself,” he added.
Tirabassi also will continue developing an environment where players feel both safe and comfortable with their skills. “I believe in removing any chance of players being put into a situation in which they aren’t ready,” he said. One system he’s implementing will separate new players from experienced ones to ensure new players can learn the fundamentals of football at a suitable pace.
“Practices are going great. Our players are working very hard toward a common goal, which is a powerful thing. Everyone … is doing everything they can to make the Harker community proud.”
The coach noted that he is inspired by his players and how they want the team to be a source of pride to their fellow students. “We have talked a lot about our responsibility to represent Harker on and off the football field,” he said. “The team feels that they can bring the community together every Friday night and be a source of pride for the students, faculty and parents. It is pretty awesome how hard they are working to fulfill this obligation to their school.
“Success for us is going to come when we look up in the stands and see people from all four campuses rallying together, going crazy to support our school. We are doing everything we can do to build a team that properly represents our Harker community.
“If we have a group of players who are committed to the vision, every member of our team has the potential to have a life-changing experience and we have the potential to be a source of pride for the entire Harker community,” Tirabassi said. “This is what matters to me.”
Tirabassi also is excited to be more involved with the Harker community. “There is no place that I have ever seen that is like Harker,” he beamed. “The unadulterated care that the faculty and staff have for the students is amazing.”