(The following article was written for Patch by Adam Au, a journalism student at San Jose State University.)
South San Francisco is a tight knit town that is great for high school athletics as South San Francisco and El Camino High School are close rivals.
This past Bell Game was the final game in the coaching career of Frank Moro who retired from coaching after this past season.
If you have a family member who played high school football, chances are they have heard of or have been coached by Frank Moro. Coach Moro after more than a decade as the Head Coach retired from coaching and he’s had a big impact as a football coach and P.E teacher on the community.
Frank Moro is a Bay Area native from South San Francisco CA and played for South City’s football team in 1980 and graduated in ‘81. After going to CSM for two years, Moro attended San Jose State University and graduated in ‘86, he got an offer to start coaching at South City from his old coach. Moro accepted and started coaching in ’85 as an assistant coach. He then took over as the Head Coach in 2002.
South San Francisco has played well over the course of his tenure as Head Coach and to the charge of El Camino, his teams have been able to win the Bell Games and hold on to the coveted Bell.
Coach Moro says it is a fun rivalry because a lot of these young men have been playing with or against each other since the little leagues and the coaches know the parents and players.
When asked what his most memorable game was, he thought back to the game vs Willow Glen in the CCS playoffs 3 years ago which was a mud bath as rain had made for terrible field conditions which was a wild back and forth affair and he says that was one of the best games he has witnessed.
He also says that the Bell Game in 2011 with Rob Johnson scoring the go ahead TD in the final minute and his son Joey catching the onside kick to seal the game was one of his most memorable moments.
And his final Bell Game going up against the favorite El Camino squad where the Colts drove down the field and missed a chip shot field goal was remarkable.
Moro acknowledged his coaching staff and how he will miss the players and coaches and they were the best part about coaching.
He says the experience of coaching players and then coaching their brothers down the line is something he loves about this community. He says what makes South City football great are the familes and he acknowledged the Johnson family, the Pua family, the McGoverns, and the Bildhauers among others.
Moro had an interesting comment about when I asked him what goes through his mind after winning a game.
“That’s one of the tough parts, after you win now; let’s go to the next one, what do I have to do next.” He said the wins don’t stick for long but the losses remain in your thoughts so it is about preparation for what lies ahead.
Off the field, Frank Moro is a fan of the game of Golf which is what he does when the school day is over. If you ask him what sports event influenced him that would be the 1998 U.S Open and watching Lee Jansen take home the trophy.
He enjoys 80s music, especially Bruce Springsteen, and Robert DeNiro movies, spending time with his family, watching his son compete in sports, and cheering for both the 49ers and Raiders.
When he is watching NFL, Peyton Manning continues to impress and amaze him but he enjoys all sports. He listed his some of his favorite athletes include LeBron James, Phil Mickelson, and Ray Lewis.
As a young man growing up, his favorite athletes included Muhammad Ali, Barry Bonds, Dwight Clark and Joe Montana. He was also inspired by the likes of President Clinton and Robert DeNiro.
Frank Moro will continue to instruct P.E classes at South San Francisco High School but now that his coaching days are done, students and fans of local high school football should be appreciative for all the lessons taught, the games won, and the memories created.