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Lengendary HS head coach returns to help teach players a lesson

Last week, head coach Christian Mahaffey was controversially let go as the head coach at Rio Americano (CA) high school. Recently, a new head coach was brought in, and he brought with him a lesson that will not soon be forgotten.

According to published reports at the time, one of the Rio Americano players, who was also a baseball stand out, told coach Mahaffey that he would be missing a game early in the season to attend a baseball showcase. Mahaffey told the player that it would be an unexcused absence and, due to team rules, he would be suspended for a game upon his return. After hearing of the suspension, 11 players decided to walk out and quit the team. Coach Mahaffey was let go soon thereafter and the players were later reinstated.

We don't know enough of the facts to opine on what happened; however we read a follow up this morning that Rio Americano recently hired Max Miller, the winningest coach in Sac-Juaquin section football history. Miller got the call from the Rio Americano principal while he was on the golf course with his wife, pleading for him to take the head coaching job. Coach Miller and his wife immediately packed up their belongings and hit the road to meet the administration, and he later agreed to become the next head coach, making it his second stint at Rio Americano.

What really stood out to us was that, after officially accepting the head coaching position and being introduced to his new team, Miller told the players who had originally left the team that they were wrong to leave their coach and that they would be punished. The players would have to sit out a game and do some community service before dressing again. Also, each player would have to personally call Coach Mahaffey and apologize before moving forward.

Forty eight hours before their first game under Miller, Miller scrapped the spread and went back to the I-formation, moving a lineman to the backfield to carry the load for the new offense. That first Friday night Coach Miller went into their game against Cordova HS (where he had recorded most of his 258 career victories) with just four plays, and came out with a 30-6 win. Oh yeah, and that converted lineman / running back rushed for three touchdowns.

These days you don't hear too many stories about a new coach coming in and immediately focusing on respect and discipline; but in this case it seems to be working out for everyone.