WATSONVILLE – After two successful seasons with the Monte Vista Christain football team, Jubenal Rodriguez is stepping down as head coach of the program.
Rodriguez, 31, said he announced his resignation Aug. 28, the same day he stepped down from his teaching position as health and wellness instructor.
Rodriguez mentioned that his stipend for coaching the program, which is roughly a third of his salary, was not guaranteed. With the football season still in question because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Rodriguez said he couldn’t afford to take a chance of not being financially stable.
He said his original plan was to step away from teaching but he still had intentions of coaching at MVC. However, a miscommunication with school officials did not allow the relationship to continue, he said.
MVC headmaster Mitch Salerno said he wouldn’t discuss details on Rodriguez’s resignation.
“It’s a personnel issue so I can’t comment on that,” he said.
Salerno said that junior varsity head coach Jeremiah “J.B.” Williams will replace Rodriguez.
“[Williams] is ready to take over the helm,” Salerno said. “We were blessed that we had a guy like J.B. on our staff. We’re excited that he can step up and take the role of head coach.”
He will be the program’s third head coach since 2017.
The Central Coast Section football season is set to start Dec. 14, with opening week scheduled for Jan. 8.
Rodriguez, who lives in Hollister, said he has already been offered a teaching position at a different school but has yet to accept it. He mentioned that he’s received an enormous amount of support from parents and colleagues wishing him well.
“I had to jump on another opportunity that was going to allow me to be financially stable and keep my home,” he said.
Prior to his arrival in Watsonville, Rodriguez led Gilroy High to a CCS Division-V title in 2017. In 2018, he went 5-6 in his first season at MVC and improved to 7-3 the following year.
The Mustangs competed for the Pacific Coast Athletic League Mission Division title and qualified for the CCS playoffs in those first two seasons. They earned a share of the Mission Division title in 2019, which bumped them up to the Gabilan Division, the top level of the four-tiered equity league.
Rodriguez said it’s unfortunate that things didn’t work out between him and the school and he wished MVC the best.
“My relationship with God grew stronger because of the culture there and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity,” he said. “I wish them the best and I will always be a fan from afar.”
Rodriguez said he’s unsure if he’ll return to coaching in the near future.
“My mind is telling me that maybe it’s time to take a little break but at the same time my heart and competitive spirit, I don’t know if it’ll allow me to do that,” he said.