St. Bernard High Hires of Manuel Douglas

Douglas Comes to St. Bernard After Winning Eight City Titles at Narbonne High School

St. Bernard high school today announced the hiring of former Narbonne high school Coach Manuel "Manny" Douglas to take over the reins of the Vikings football program. Douglas, who had been embroiled in a nine-month dispute with Los Angeles Unified School District over alleged academic misconduct at Narbonne, tendered his resignation last week.

Douglas, who guided the Gauchos to eight City titles, two state titles and sent numerous players to the college and professional ranks since taking his first head coaching job at Narbonne in 2002, said he is eager for a fresh start and the opportunity to build something special at St. Bernard.

"When I took the job at Narbonne, they had a dirt track, a 1950s scoreboard, hardly any stands, but I saw it for what it could be, not what it was at that time," Douglas said. "I see the same thing here at St. Bernard. This could be one of the premier private school programs in Southern California just because of the location. I really enjoy coming in and leaving a footprint."

The timing of Douglas' hiring coincides with the school's investment in a new football field that will be ready for the start of the 2020 season this fall. Carter Paysinger, St. Bernard's Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, said the multi-million-dollar field project and the hiring of Douglas will undoubtedly help spark a rebirth of the school's football program.

"When you are able to pair a coach with the dedication, commitment and success of someone like Manny and let him assemble a team that can take advantage of brand new facilities, that's a recipe for success," said Paysinger, who coached football himself at Beverly Hills high school before becoming that school's principal. "Manny knows not only what it takes to build a winning team, but also how to build outstanding you men. That's why he's here."

Douglas said he is proud of more than just his sterling record on the field. He is proud of what his players do once they graduate, earning scholarships and succeeding in the classroom and on the field at the next level.

"Something like 90 percent of them go to college for free at different levels," he said. "But it's not just about winning on the field. It's like (Seattle Seahawks Coach) Pete Carroll says, 'Try to win in life, in the classroom and on the field.' I'm most proud of the things we teach in our program. Eight of my players have gone on to be selected captains of their college teams at major universities. The fact that they were selected by their fellow players and their coaches says a lot about what we're teaching them in our program and the culture we want to develop. They're successful young men who go to college and stay in college because they have learned how to function academically and socially as outstanding young men."

Douglas said he is excited to hit the ground running and added that the school has welcomed him with open arms.

"A lot of people are scared of change, but here change is welcome," he said. It's an exciting time. The people here have a great vision for the future of the school, not just the football program. Before building sports programs, you have to build academics and specialized programs, and that is what is happening.

"There's a lot of work to be done, but we're going to get it done."

The Vikings, who finished last season 4-6, will open the 2020 season August 28 at home on their new field at St. Bernard versus Loyola high school, and Douglas, for one, says they will be ready.


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