New Football Coach, New Natomas Nighthawks


THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

New coach, new Nighthawks.

That’s the vibe among Natomas High School football players thanks to Jeff Remington – a coach with experience reshaping high school and collegiate level teams.

“He’s out here working hard, getting everybody more disciplined, getting everybody stronger and bigger,” said Jalen Falls, an 11th grade tight end linebacker. “I could see us in the playoffs this year.”

No one denies the Natomas Nighthawks football team did not have a good season last year.

Winless since October 2010, the team ranked last in their division in 2011 with a 0-10 record. Morale on the sidelines dwindled as coaches and players watched their opponents score.

But last season seems to have faded from memory.

A new sense of camaraderie and work ethic among the players was evident during a recent visit to the Nighthawk’s summer training camp.

“We’ve been trying to change how the kids work at Natomas High School,” said Jeff Remington, hired earlier this year to replace Frank Negri as head football coach.

Remington has been working with players all summer in preparation for the 2012 season.

“The biggest thing for me coming in was trying to ensure they were in good physical condition,” said Remington. “The fact that these guys have spent eight weeks working harder than any school in the (California Interscholastic Federation) Sac-Joaquin Section … will bode well for them as we go into games.”

Remington is no novice to high school football and turning teams around. From 1997 to 2001, he served as the head football coach at Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto, CA. 

Remington took over a team without a winning season in the school’s 37-year history, and produced a 27-12-1 record. The team won a league title in 2000.

The key, said Remington, was changing the players’ mentality.

“Their thought process was: ‘We could never win, that’s just who we are here’,” he said. “We came in …  and said, ‘Hey, yeah you can win, but here’s what you’re going to have to do to get there’.”

He thinks the same thing is needed at Natomas High School.

“The kids are no different,” Remington said. “They just need somebody to bring in discipline and structure.”

From 2002 to 2011 Remington helped coach winning collegiate football teams at the University of Minnesota, Morris campus, Foothill Community College in Los Altos, CA and Sacramento State.

The Natomas Unified School District hired Remington to coach football at Natomas High School in May 2012. He will also teach special education.

Remington has outlined his football program in a manual which describes expectations for players and coaches – something that impressed Principal John Eick, who served on the selection panel.

“Having a football coach who’s as worried about college as he is about wins and losses; that’s the right guy for our school,” Eick said.

Remington said he’s lost some players since taking the post, but he has faith in his coaching process. And the mindset among the players is already changing.

“We’ve been able to change a little bit of the negative culture that’s been here,” said Remington. “I think they’ve really responded to that.”

Natomas High School quarterback and 11th grader Daniel Gutierrez said, “He’s great, changing this program around. We’ve been working hard every day and if it keeps on going, I can just see the season going good.”

Added Remington, “I’m not a predictor of ‘Are we going to win seven or eight games?’ But we’ll have successful season, and we will be competitive.”

The Natomas Nighthawks football season kicks off on the road 7:30 p.m. August 31 at Lincoln High School. The home opener is set for 7:30 p.m Sept. 7 against Dixon High School Rams.



  1. jberry50 says

    Wheres Frank Negri;my old Foothill coach?

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