Longtime East Bay high school football coach steps down

Paul Perenon is stepping down as Mt. Eden’s head football coach after 13 seasons. 

Perenon, 70, joined the Hayward school in 2010 and led Mt. Eden to a 58-60-1 record and four trips to the North Coast Section playoffs.

He said “uncertainty” in the program is the reason he is leaving but did not get into specifics.

“There are great young men at this school, who need guidance and leadership … and a model for them to show how to be successful. We did that,” Perenon told the Bay Area News Group on Thursday.  

Before his stint at Mt. Eden, Perenon coached Bishop O’Dowd’s football team from 1985-2009, where he led the Dragons to three NCS titles. 

While reflecting on his time at Mt. Eden, Perenon repeatedly said that his favorite part of coaching at the school was taking local kids and turning them into what he called great “scholar-athletes.”

“When I was coaching here, I wanted to coach the kids who were here and wanted to be at Mt. Eden and play football in our program and understood what our expectations were,” Perenon said. 

Perenon said he had been “evaluating” whether or not he wished to continue coaching at Mt. Eden for almost a year. He added that he plans to keep teaching at the school as a P.E. teacher.

“It started to not get fun being the head coach here,” Perenon said, adding he believes his successor will have the tools needed to run a successful program. 

“This thing is set up a lot better today than when I showed up down here in August of 2010,” Perenon said.

Has the Bay Area seen the last of Perenon on a high school sideline? 

Not a chance. 

“I’m not done coaching,” Perenon said. “I love it, and it’s in my DNA.”

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