After 15 Years at Del Oro, Football Coach Heads to Capital Christian

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LOOMIS -- Fifteen years, 14 playoff appearances, six section titles and a state championship in 2015.

Football is a big deal, not just at Del Oro High School, but all around the tight-knit community of Loomis.

"Football is a culture in Loomis," according to Peggy Love, whose four sons all have played for Head Coach Casey Taylor.

Love, who also serves as the "Team Mom" for the Golden Eagles is understandably emotional, along with most of the community, after Coach Taylor this week announced that he was moving across town to take over Capital Christian's football program.

"Hard to lose a friend, because he's more than a coach," said Love. "He tries to be more than a coach to his players."

Taylor insists that now was the right time for a change, even if most of the Del Oro community disagrees.

"You know, I thought it would be a great challenge for me number one," Taylor said. "But just real excited for the challenge to build from the bottom ... from where I've taken Del the top and being in state championships ... to try with another school."

He said he's heard the good and the bad about his decision on social media since making the announcement Tuesday. Taylor is no stranger to backlash either, from players and parents when his teams have underachieved. But it's also, maybe, when he's done his best work.

"The great thing about adversity," he explained, "is it's a great teaching time for kids and life lessons. And I think some of your best work has been in adverse times where people have been talking about us ... and have the kids dig deep and fight through that and find a genuine love for one another."

But back in 2009, there was no love-lost between the coach and a former Del Oro grad from the 1970s. What transpired was a series of threats, one going as far as saying the former player was planning a "sniper attack" and causing the coach to be flanked by sheriff's deputies on the sidelines during a game.

"It was bad," recalls Taylor. "It was a very unfortunate incident, and I tried to shield a lot of it from our coaches. But during our section game when I had four or five officers around me, everyone was asking me 'hey, whats going on coach?' But I was more worried about my family."

Love, who was on the sidelines that year at every Del Oro game remembers it well.

"It was a scary time because people are uncontrollable and unpredictable," she said.

But for Taylor, he did everything he could to not let it affect him or the team, but looking back he says it was hard not to.

"I wasn't going to let someone take away what we'd worked so hard to do. We worked so hard, but in the back of your mind, your head's on a swivel a little bit,"

And the coach is adamant that his decision now to move on from Del Oro has nothing to do with a few isolated incidents.

"Those are a couple incidents that came out, but I do not want to make any assumption that it has been a bad experience. It's been a great 15 years."