College Park High taps NCS winning coach Jack Schram to lead football

PLEASANT HILL, CA (Apr. 23, 2024) — It is quite rare for a high school coach to be relieved of their duties days after winning a Section title, but that is what happened to Jack Schram last December after his Miramonte High football team won the North Coast Section Division 5 championship.

Schram had just completed his 13th year as head coach of his hometown Mats (18 years on the varsity coaching staff) by winning a second NCS championship when principal Ben Campopiano informed him the Orinda school wanted to “go in a different direction” with its football program.

The beneficiary of this unusual situation is College Park, which recently hired Schram to lead Falcons football. The 61-year-old Schram will begin his 37th year coaching high school football during spring practice next month at the Pleasant Hill school.

He will be the Falcons third head coach in as many years (and fourth in five years). Casey Moreno was let go by College Park recently after just one year in charge and is now head coach at St. Mary’s-Berkeley. Schram says he’s known Moreno for many years going back to when each was coaching football at Alameda County schools.

Fond farewell

His release from Miramonte caught Schram completely off guard. He asked the principal if there were any issues with his coaching and was told “no issues.”

The school’s press release said, “we bid a fond farewell to Coach Jack Schram.” Campopiano said Schram’s “dedication and leadership have laid a strong foundation for the future of Miramonte football. Winning two NCS Championships and guiding the program so successfully for over a decade is truly a remarkable coaching achievement.”

High schools in the Lamorinda area have a reputation for terminating successful coaches for no apparent reason. The blame for these unlikely coaching changes is often rumored to revolve around parental pressure placed on school officials. Miramonte also recently released its varsity boys basketball coach Chris Lavdiotis after he had guided his team to the NCS playoff semi-finals.

Schram had his first visit to the Pleasant Hill campus in his new capacity during spring break when he watched a JV baseball game. Last week he completed the paperwork and fingerprinting necessary to officially be hired.

Coaching staff forming

Some of his assistant coaches are following Schram from Miramonte to College Park but he is still in the process of filling out the staff for the CPHS varsity, JV and frosh teams.

Simply from looking on paper at last fall’s College Park football teams Schram says it appears the Falcons will have two dozen or so returning varsity players as well as over 60 combined players from the 2023 JV and frosh teams.

After the official spring practices in May, College Park summer workouts will begin following final exams and graduation. Like all North Coast Section schools, the official start for fall season practice is Aug. 12 with the Falcons kicking off their ­season the last weekend of August at San Marin, which defeated Schram’s Miramonte team for the 2022 NCS title and has won two CIF State titles this decade.

The Diablo Athletic League reorganized its football divisions and scheduling after Clayton Valley Charter was moved back to the DAL for the first time since 2018. College Park is grouped with Alhambra, Benicia and Northgate in the Valley Division.

In order to fill those school’s 10-game schedules they will play against two DAL Foothill schools, which will be considered non-league games. One of those non-league games on Oct. 4 is College Park at Miramonte. The Falcons final regular-season game will be part of the DAL Foothill vs. Mountain division matchups.

Last year’s College Park team was 4-6 overall and 1-5 in DAL Foothill play. They are in NCS Division II this season. The Falcons’ two most recent playoff appearances were in 2022 (D-III) and 2017 (D-II).

Miramonte competed in Division V at NCS while winning the championship last fall. His 2013 Mats team were D-II Section champions.

Jay Bedecarré
Jay Bedecarré
Sports and Schools Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer | | Website

Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.