When Eric Gonzales was playing football at St. Paul High School in Santa Fe Springs in the early 1990s, he knew that Fontana High School was one of his team's top non-league opponents.
Now Gonzales has been named the new head coach at Fohi, and he said he wants to help restore some of the greatness that he remembers the Steelers possessing during those glory years.
"To be here and to be in charge of the program, it puts a smile on my face," said Gonzales. "I want to bring back the spirit, the work ethic, and the toughness of what Fohi was."
Plus, Gonzales will be bringing an emphasis on running the football, which Fohi was also well known for.
He plans to utilize the pistol wing formation as he attempts to improve on the 3-7 record the Steelers compiled last year.
Gonzales, who also became a full-time teacher at Fohi, is pleased with the enthusiasm and determination that players are now demonstrating in the weight room as they prepare for the fall season.
Gonzales, who was the offensive line coach at Arroyo Valley High School during the 2019 season, has been coaching at various levels (including college) for 20 years.
Because his young son was diagnosed with leukemia, Gonzales has coached in several cities in California, trying to be near the best medical facility available for the necessary treatment. His son, now 15, has shown progress in fighting the disease and is a patient at Children's Hospital of Orange County.
He and his wife Andrea have two other children, a son who is attending college at Concordia University and a daughter who is in fifth grade.