Pitman High varsity football announced on Monday that it has hired its fourth coach in program history — 34-year-old Lance Weckerle.
Weckerle is no stranger to the Pride program, as he has served as an assistant coach under Tom Tyler for the previous two seasons
“My first day I told Tom [Tyler] that it was my dream and I always wanted to take over a varsity program,” Weckerle said.
He will now get a chance to live out his dream. Weckerle said that he plans to continue the success the Pride has earned over the past 17 years.
Pitman has never seen a losing season in 16 varsity seasons. Weckerle has also been part of two 10-win seasons in two of the last three years as an assistant.
“I am super excited. My family has been extremely supportive and the coaching staff is already assembled,” said Weckerle. “It’s been a whirlwind and special experience… my phone won’t stop ringing. A tireless effort that we see in our coaches already and loyal and excited to work with all the coaches. I tried getting pieces together and making sure we have our staff together and a lot of coaches that want to help the young men, and that is half the battle.”
Weckerle hails from Yreka and played quarterback at Yreka High School, graduating in 2003. He played QB at College of Siskiyous and then Humboldt State for a year. He eventually went to Stanislaus State and finished his degree there and got into coaching.
His experience at Pitman High started in 2009, when he was a student teacher.
Back then, Brandon Harris was the head coach for Pitman.
That year the Pride went 4-2 in league and 6-5 overall, qualifying for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs and falling to No. 64 in the state, Monterey Trail. Pitman also toppled Turlock in that year’s Harvest Bowl, 40-6.
Weckerle taught in Stockton then returned to Turlock in 2016, taking a position first at Dutcher Middle School then at Pitman.
Weckerle has been the Wide receivers and Quarterbacks coach for the Pride the last three seasons.
The offense and defense that will be implemented looks similar to what has been run in the past. But he isn’t afraid to add things to the arsenal in case adjustments need to be made.
“We are going to try and be as fast as we can, no huddle and put the defense in a situation where the pass or run, based off what they read in the defense. A 4-2-5 defense, that is what Tom put in and I really like it… spoke with coach with Wolfley and it is a modern-day bear, now we just move them back and try and stop the run and try to defend the pass as well.”
Another obstacle that Weckerle and his staff need to overcome includes losing 50 seniors from last season’s team that won a season-best 10 victories.
“Last year we had 50 seniors. We are going to be young going into this year, we don't have many seniors,” said Weckerle. “We have leaders here; our sophomore and junior class have some athletes, and we will be younger as we have been before. We could already be doing spring ball but I want to make sure our foundation is strong and make sure we spend a few days to get our philosophy and schemes together and then get some spring ball in there.”
Fall camp is slated to begin in the final week of July.
“We will make sure we take time to lay the foundation and we
will lay it well and it will help us the next couple years as we move forward
with the program,” Weckerle added.