High school football: Clayton Valley names Nick Tisa as its new coach

CONCORD – When Tim Murphy announced his retirement from coaching football this spring, he said that Nick Tisa would be his pick to replace him.

Tisa had been on staff for the past five years and held the title of co-head coach for the last four.

Now, it’s official.

Tisa has the head coaching job to himself, the Bay Area News Group learned Monday.

In a phone interview, Tisa said the staff will remain the same and the offense will, too.

The Ugly Eagles will run the spread, with former Alvarez coach Anthony Gonzalez handling the offensive responsibilities that had been Murphy’s role. Gonzalez has been on the staff for three years.

“It’s a new era but the same mission, to get another state championship,” Tisa said. “Same philosophy.”

Murphy remains a teacher on staff and will continue to teach weight training, Tisa added.

The transition has been ongoing for a few years as Murphy, who coached the program for a decade, handed more responsibility to Tisa.

Before joining Murphy’s staff, Tisa coached six seasons at Dougherty Valley, which has struggled in football since fielding its first varsity team in 2009.

Tisa had one of the program’s three winning seasons, finishing 6-5 in 2015.

Now, he takes over a program that has a rich tradition in football.

In Murphy’s 11 seasons at Clayton Valley, he guided the Concord school to 10 league and four North Coast Section titles. He also won three regional championships and a state title in 2019.

“I’m excited. I’m really, really excited,” Tisa said, adding that Murphy has been “a great mentor.”

“I remember five years ago when I left Dougherty, I didn’t think I was going to coach again,” Tisa said.

Then Murphy invited him to come to Clayton Valley.

“He was like come over and be an assistant,” Tisa said. “I was like, ‘Alright. I have some fire in me.’ And Murph has kind of slowly been giving me more stuff. You do the practice plan. You do this, you do that.

“It’s going to be an easy transition. The kids are excited. The culture is there. Everything is the same.”

Clayton Valley opens its season on Aug. 25 at Salinas.

In a news release later Monday, Clayton Valley executive director Dave Fehte said, “Nick’s commitment to the development of our student-athletes extends beyond the field. He prioritizes their academic success and character growth, fostering a positive team culture that inspires excellence both on and off the gridiron. Nick’s coaching philosophy aligns with CVCHS’ mission to provide a well-rounded education and produce not only skilled athletes but also responsible individuals.”

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