Head coach Paul Preheim step down, Trailblazer defensive coordinator Adam DeCosta named head coach
By Jermaine Johnson II
VISALIA – After building a winning culture within the Golden West football program, Paul Preheim has decided to call it quits in favor of an administrative position in the district. Taking his place as the team’s head coach will be former Fresno State football player Adam DeCosta.
Two weeks ago, Preheim pounced on an opportunity he had long been looking forward to. He received an offer at Redwood High School to be a teacher on special assignment and to work closely with different administrators.
“I was already enrolled in an administrative credential program…doing something with administration was the next step in my career,” Preheim said. “My long-term goal is to be an athletic director or work with at-risk kids.”
Preheim coached high school football for over 30 years and spent the last nine at Golden West. He took over a 2-8 Trailblazer squad and four seasons later he had them back in the playoffs. In 2016 they earned a share of the West Yosemite League title and then the following year they won the Division V valley championship.
“I’m very proud of the work that we did at Golden West, we proved that coaches can have winning football teams and care more about the kids than the wins,” he said. “Leaving something that you’ve put a lot of time and effort into is definitely going to be hard. I’ve made a lot of decisions over the years that were taking time away from my family so it’s about time to make a decision to help them out.”
The team’s transition to new leadership should ideally be seamless. DeCosta has been with the team for the last four years and was named the defensive coordinator midway through his first season. Being a head coach was always in his plans and now he is in an ideal situation.
“A lot of times when a new head coach comes in, people don’t know him,” DeCosta said. “But in my case, everybody knows me. I was able to let the kids know that everything will be the same with a few small tweaks.”
Being just 28 years old, DeCosta feels as if his youthful energy will mesh well with his team. He also wants to work on new swagger for his team in the form of gear and uniforms, and the players reacted very positively to that idea.
“Just five years ago I was playing at Fresno State. I know what the grind feels like and I think the kids appreciate that,” he said.
DeCosta graduated from Manteca High School near Stockton, California before playing football at Fresno City College for two years. From there he received an offer to play at Fresno State which is where he finished his playing career. He worked his way up to a graduate assistant position before accepting a job at Golden West as a physical education teacher. He was also the football team’s strength and linebackers’ coach before taking over the entire defense. Every year after that, he received more freedom to do what he wanted with the team.
“For the most part we’re going to be the same blue-collar football team that wants to out-work everybody.”