After only one season at the helm, Monte Vista Christian relieved Bruce Dini of his football coaching duties, the coach recently confirmed with the Register-Pajaronian.
Dini and the Mustangs finished the year 4-6 overall, the program’s first losing season since 2013, and lost their last four games. They placed sixth in the Monterey Bay League Gabilan division with a 2-5 record and missed the Central Coast Section playoffs.
Dini said the administration informed him they were moving in a different direction on Thursday evening.
“I was surprised but I knew what I was getting into,” Dini said.
Dini took over the resurgent program after longtime head coach and Athletic Director David Reese stepped down in April. Reese turned the Watsonville-based private school into a yearly contender over his nine seasons. He compiled a 63-36 record, won a league championship and led the Mustangs to the CCS playoffs in five of his six final seasons.
Before Reese, however, M.V.C. had just four winning seasons and one playoff appearance to its name since becoming a varsity program in 1992.
Dini was not hired until mid-June, roughly 50 days before the start of the fall sports season.
The Mustangs showed flashes of brilliance this season in Dini’s spread offense but never found sustained success.
Senior quarterback Sean White threw for 2,390 yards and 21 touchdowns, senior running back Cody Paresa ran for 1,235 yards and nine touchdowns and junior receiver Nick Bautista made 69 catches for 1,102 yards and eight touchdowns. But M.V.C. lost its last four games by an average margin of 24 points, including a 34-7 loss against Seaside High on senior night that essentially eliminated the team from postseason contention.
Dini coached at Stevenson in Pebble Beach for six seasons before moving over to M.V.C. He led the Pirates to their first CCS playoff appearance in 17 years during his final season.
He said he would finish out the year as an economics teacher at the school. He did not know what the future holds but said he’d like to eventually get back into coaching.
“There are great kids up there,” Dini said. “It just didn’t work out… I hope that they find what they’re looking for.”
In an email to the parents and coaches obtained by the Register-Pajaronian, M.V.C. first-year Dean of Athletics Matt Coleman gave thanks to Dini for his “commitment and dedication” and said that a “national search” to find a replacement would begin immediately.
Coleman did not return calls or an email asking for comment.