Raul Lara (L) and his Poly Jackrabbits brought 5 C.I.F. titles to Long Beach. Photo by Matt Cohn
Raul Lara, whose 13-year run as Long Beach Polytechnic High School’s head football coach included 12 Moore League championships and five C.I.F. titles, announced his resignation Friday.
“The school and the administration have been great throughout my career at Poly,” says Lara. “I’m so appreciative of their support.”
Lara, who played linebacker for the Jackrabbits and graduated from Poly in ’84, joined the school’s coaching staff as an assistant 23 years ago. As head coach, he compiled a remarkable 74 – 2 record against the rest of the Moore League. His five C.I.F. championships are the most by any Poly coach in the program’s illustrious 106-year-old history. Over his entire coaching career, 31 of his players played in the NFL.
Coach Lara, who was reimbursed for his coaching duties with a relatively small LBUSD stipend, endured the pressure that comes with leading one of the most storied high school football programs in the nation, and did it while holding down a full-time probation officer position on the graveyard shift at the Juvenile Detention Center in L.A.
He had planned on stepping down after last year’s one-point loss to Granite Bay in the state championship game, but was persuaded to stay for one more year by the school administration.
“I needed a change in my life,” Lara says. “I was not having fun anymore. I feel like I have stayed at Poly too long. I need a change to recharge my batteries. If any doors open up and the fit is good, I might coach again. I would really like to coach at the next level. Whatever the Good Lord has planned for me, I’m ready to do.”
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