The Turlock Christian High varsity football program has a new head coach. After two years, Shane Smith has stepped down and Robert Kisse will step in to lead the Eagles.
“I expect the kids to like playing football. I expect for them to respect their opponents and hopefully we will grow throughout the season, and hopefully, have a significant number of wins,” Kisse said. “We are still developing the roster, it will be a difficult task this first year because we’re really young."
Kisse has lived all over the place but spent his high school days in the Bay Area, graduating in 1989 from South San Francisco High. He then went on to play two years of football at Humboldt State as a strong safety. Kisse, however, suffered a career ending shoulder injury in his second collegiate season.
“It was a lot of fun, and I played under Coach Hill, after the USFL broke, he was head coach of one of the teams,” Kisse said. “It was interesting and they were running spread back in the days, like today. We’re going to be running the pistol offense, two backs, and looking to go no huddle for the year. I’d like to go no huddle to keep the defense in base — or if they adjust you find their weakness.”
Kisse, who is 43, began his coaching career at Chowchilla in 2004 as running backs and defensive backs coach for the junior varsity level. From there he went on to Ripon Christian in 2005 and joined the varsity squad as the running backs and DBs coach as well. In 2006, he became the defensive coordinator at Ripon Christian. In 2008, he became the offensive line and defensive backs’ coach at Ripon Christian. He then joined Gregori High in 2010 as the head coach for the freshman squad and also the junior varsity offensive line coach. After one season he returned to Ripon Christian as a defensive backs and running backs coach from 2011-2012.
As the new head coach at Turlock Christian, Kisse said he hopes to bring success after taking over a team that has only won two games in the previous two seasons.
“We have a pretty extensive strength and conditioning program. We are going to be working on everything in the off season and, hopefully with the coaches I have, we can work together and make week to week adjustments against different teams,” Kisse said.
This year also marks the last season that TC will compete in the Southern Athletic League. In 2014, the Eagles will be moving to the Harvest Christian League.