COALINGA – As students head back to West Hills College Coalinga for the beginning of the spring semester, they are joined by a new face – Robert Tucker, the new head football coach for the Falcons.
Tucker joins WHCC from the University of Sioux Falls where he worked as assistant head coach for four seasons, defensive coordinator for one season and special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach from 2010-2012.
“I’m excited to be a part of an outstanding team of educators at WHCC,” Tucker said. “My sincere gratitude goes out to Dr. Carole Goldsmith and Mark Gritton for entrusting me with the football program. I look forward to recruiting and developing young men who are dedicated to building a first-class program that will be highly competitive on the field and in the classroom.”
Tucker brings university-level experience to the Falcons, having coached NCAA D1, NCAA D2 and NAIA levels over the past 17 years. His coaching background includes not only the University of Sioux Falls but the University of Colorado at Boulder, Boise State University, the University of Oregon and Willamette University, where he began his coaching career in 1997.
To add to his experience, Tucker worked as a head coach overseas and recently worked as defensive coordinator for the French National Team. Notable players coached by Tucker during their college careers include Chris Carr (DB) of the Baltimore Ravens, Quintin Mikell (DB) of the St. Louis Rams and Kyle Wilson (PR/DB) of the New York Jets.
“I’m very excited about this hire,” said Mark Gritton, athletic director and associate dean of student services. “This will have a positive impact on the football program. It adds instant credibility as Coach Tucker has been associated with several successful programs at the four-year level.”
While new to WHCC, Tucker is not new to the area. He actively recruited in the area for 10 years and began recruiting at area high schools 14 years ago.
“I began recruiting the area 14 years ago and have always felt that WHCC is a great place to build a championship program,” Tucker said. “With residence halls on campus, small class sizes, and a supportive community, WHCC presents an outstanding opportunity for young men who want to focus on achieving their personal, academic, and athletic goals.”
Tucker’s official start date was Jan. 13. Gritton, who stepped in to work as interim head football coach this past fall, has now resumed his duties as athletic director and associate dean of student services.