Football

49ers Hall of Famer Steve Young to join Menlo School girls flag football coaching staff

NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young will be part of the girls flag football coaching staff this fall at Menlo School.

The school announced on Monday that Young will be an assistant coach and fellow former 49ers quarterback John Paye will be the team’s head coach in the first season of play since the California Interscholastic Federation approved girls flag football as a high school sport in February. 

“Flag football will be a wonderful opportunity for young women to show their talent,” Young said in a statement from the school. “Football is a great team game that teaches tremendous life lessons. I want to help build women’s flag football.”

Assistant athletic director Buffie Ward Williams and varsity baseball coach David Trujillo will also be assistants. Young’s daughter Summer, who letters in basketball and runs track, will be a senior this year.

“We are excited to add girls flag football to our sport offerings and provide an opportunity for our female students to play a popular, fast-growing sport,” athletic director Earl Koberlein said in a press release.

Paye is already the girls’ basketball head coach for Menlo School, his alma mater. He won his 400th game for the Knights in December and has helped the team to four section titles.

He was the 49ers’ 1987 10th-round pick out of Stanford, where he succeeded John Elway at quarterback as a true freshman, also starting for the basketball team. He backed up Joe Montana and Young for two seasons in the NFL.

“There’s certainly a good amount of excitement in the Menlo community,” Paye said of girls flag football in the press release. “I’ve been getting photos and videos of some of the basketball players out with their friends practicing and training on their own for the season.”

The Menlo bench celebrates a three-point basket by Menlo's Maeia Makoni (40) as Menlo head coach John Paye gestures while playing against Rolling Hills Prep in the first half of the Division II Girls CIF State Basketball Championship game at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif., on Saturday, March 9, 2019. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)John Paye, shown here in a file photo from 2019, has won over 400 games as the girls basketball coach. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group

The season will start on Aug. 21 and will run through Nov. 4, with the number of games still undecided as schools put together teams. 

In April, the North Coast Section ruled that 28 is the maximum number of games its section will allow a team to play per season.

Koberlein said that Menlo School, which plays in the Central Coast Section, has around 40 girls interested in flag football. 

“Unlike in nearly every high school sport, few have played organized, competitive football,” the school wrote in a press release. “Nearly all the players will be starting new to the game. Interest has spanned from students who don’t play a sport to those looking for a fall sport.”

The 49ers, with whom Young and Paye won Super Bowl XXIII and Young later won two more, sponsor a flag football league. The league plays six games and children from kindergarten to eighth grade are allowed to participate. 

“I guess it’s a little old-fashioned but it gives everyone an opportunity to play,” Paye said. “In my book, high school sports first and foremost should be fun and a place where you can bond with your classmates.“

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