Last week, former Valencia defensive coordinator Rob Waters cleaned out his football drawer. By the time he was done, 23 years of Vikings coaching knowledge took the form of a 4-foot stack of notes and mementos.
“All the different things I’ve been able to do because of Valencia High School and with Larry (Muir) and Brian Stiman, they’ve done so much for me. It’s been a blessing.
“I’m not guaranteeing I’m permanently done with football. I want to try something new.”
Waters now turns his attention to the Valencia golf program. Previously, he coached the boys team for more than 10 years, but now he will oversee the entire program as the boys and girls coach.
The decision to transition fully to golf was made in March but wasn’t executed until now.
Just as the football team at Valencia has seen success, the Vikings golfers have had their share of accomplishments, too. Last season, the girls golf team claimed the Foothill League title and was the runner-up this season. The boys program has produced several quality golfers, including current pro Max Homa.
“It’s year-round golf, which is nice. Build up the golf program a little bit,” Waters said. “Coaching the boys golf team a little bit the last 10 years, it’s almost like a part-time gig. In reality, football was the main thing. I almost feel like I was cheating the golf kids — I’m not investing a lot of time with them. I’ll be able to work with them year-round.”
He and his wife are also expecting their first child in early December, and Waters said he is looking forward to spending some newfound free time with his family.
Waters has been at Valencia High School since it opened its doors. He was part of the school’s first graduating class and began coaching the season after he graduated.
“I basically bleed purple and gold,” he said. “I’ve been here since ‘94. Literally since day one.”
He’s been part of a program that has won 11 consecutive Foothill League titles and has competed in the highest divisions of CIF-Southern Section football. The Vikings reached the CIF-SS Division 2 championships in 2017 but fell to Oaks Christian 20-19.
He was coached by current Valencia Athletic Director Brian Stiman, then coached alongside current head coach Larry Muir.
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Waters now hands the reigns, and his 4-foot stack of football paperwork, over to Matt Nyberg, another Valencia football alumnus who previously coached receivers and linebackers, in order to better understand how Waters runs the Vikings’ defense.
“To see him give me this giant stack of hand-drawn notes and plays and ideas and all the things he’s accumulated was awesome, but also not surprising,” Nyberg said.
“There’s a lot of people who maybe are excited in general about football and the game but Coach Waters, he was in love with the process of building his defense and he did not skip any small details. He didn’t skip any steps, he was extremely detailed and he was extremely excited about every little piece of the process.”