Head Coach Changes for Riordan, Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

Two announcements from head football coaches interrupted the heart of the high school basketball playoffs in San Francisco last week.

Five days after Sacred Heart Cathedral announced the resignation of Barry McLaughlin, Riordan introduced Adhir Ravipati as head coach on Tuesday.

Ravipati helped turn Menlo-Atherton from a struggling program into a Northern California powerhouse. In four seasons, he led the Bears to a 38-15 record, two Central Coast Section titles, two Northern California wins and the 3-AA State Division title in 2018.

He quit after that season to focus on his high-tech career, before returning to college football at San Mateo as an offensive analyst and quarterbacks coach.

The 34-year-old said on Tuesday he had no plans to go back to high school – “If I did, I thought it would be back to MA.” But after conversations with Riordan officials, “everything is aligned,” he said.

He replaces Mark Modeste, who left the role after three seasons but will stay on as Riordan’s director of security. The Crusaders were 9-15 during his tenure, including 5-5 in 2021, and have had just two winning seasons since 2004.

Ravipati is Riordan’s ninth head coach since 2005.

“It’s been quite a journey since I left MA,” Ravipati said, noting that he coached high school athletes after leaving the Bears. “It made me realize how much I missed the game. My experience at CSM was amazing. I had a lot of opportunities to coach at D1 (college) level but that was not what suited me. the best.

“I wasn’t actively looking for a head coaching position, but after a few conversations with the Riordan community, I fell in love with it. It was very much like my early experiences at MA that allow me to give back to this incredibly diverse, healthy and growing campus.

In Menlo-Atherton, Ravipati set up a life skills program – Built for Life – which he plans to rebuild in Riordan. That’s music to the ears of school president Tim Reardon, a former varsity basketball coach and teacher at St. Ignatius.

“We are fortunate to have Coach Ravipati join Archbishop Riordan’s football family and the great Riordan community,” he said. “Adhir is a professional. He goes about his business in a methodical and organized manner, but always with a passion for play and the joy of working with children.

Ravipati plans to bring in some of his former coaches from Menlo-Atherton and mix them up with current Riordan staff members. The challenge of winning in the West Catholic Athletic League, considered the strongest in Northern California, is daunting.

Even when the Crusaders had overall success — 9-4 in 2015 and 8-4-1 in 2007 — they were 6-6-1 in WCAL play. In the other 16 seasons since 2004, Riordan has gone 10-94 in the WCAL.

None of this intimidates Ravipati.

“I think now is the time to have a really good team and a good football program,” he said. “Look, the WCAL is fantastic. It has a lot of great players and coaches and a history. support.

The Crusaders were not far off in 2021.

They started 4-1, losing to state powers Serra and St. Francis, before a 48-21 victory over Sacred Heart Cathedral. They only needed a win over St. Ignatius or Valley Christian to finish above .500 and qualify for the CCS playoffs, but instead lost 24-21, 28-22.

Had they made the playoffs, they could have had a run like SHC, which opened 0-5, then caught fire and won five straight playoff games to win the 4-AA state championship.

McLaughlin, The Chronicle’s 2021 Coach of the Year, said he didn’t quit because the Irish finished top. In fact, he was planning on coming back until he watched Super Bowl LVI and all the talk of Rams head coach Sean McVay resigning after the season.

It triggered thoughts, McLaughlin said, of his 7-year-old son Logan and his family and all the time he’s missed coaching the last 16 seasons for the Irish, the last five as a coach- chief.

“It all hit very fast and hard,” said McLaughlin, 42. “McVay is younger than me. I know I’m not an NFL coach, but I’ve been coaching and playing football since I was 14. There’s no other place I’d rather coaching only here, and it was a hell of a way out. But it’s the right decision.”

McLaughlin will continue to teach science and physical education on campus. “After devoting my time and energy to mentoring and coaching hundreds of young men, I have to focus on Logan and my family,” he said.

CHS athletic director Caesar Smith said the search for a head coach begins immediately.

MaxPreps lead writer Mitch Stephens covers high school sports for The San Francisco Chronicle.

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