Time will only tell, but Malibu High School might have scored its biggest win of the year and its future. Former Oak Park head coach Terry Shorten has been hired as Malibu’s new football coach, replacing Ray Humphrey who resigned in November.
Shorten will be just the third head coach in the school’s history, following Rich Lawson (1996-2004) and Humphrey (2005-2014).
“I am really, extremely excited to be the head coach at Malibu High,” Shorten said. “I am very fortunate to be offered this job. Malibu is a great fit for me.”
After 12 years coaching for the Eagles, Shorten stepped away to spend more time with his family. A year later, the desire to coach again made the opportunity at Malibu too hard to pass up.
“After taking a year off, it was obvious I needed to find a home and I am honored to be at Malibu,” said Shorten, who met with his team on Wednesday for the very first time. “I recharged my batteries and felt football was in my blood. I needed to coach and I missed teaching the game.”
Malibu has reached the playoffs recently in 2007 and 2012, but Shorten comes in with a résumé and coaching background that will shake up the shoreline along Pacific Coast Highway. He reached the CIF playoffs in each of his six years as the OP head coach, beginning in 2008.
Shorten, 54, culminated his time at Oak Park in 2013 with a historic season in which the Eagles went 11-2 and advanced to the CIF Northwest Division semifinals. They won the Tri-Valley League title and owned an 11-game winning streak, breaking every offensive mark in Oak Park history. The Eagles set 10 school records.
Shorten stated that he already has a staff in place and is prepared to make Malibu the centerpiece for Friday Night Lights.
“Malibu football will be the place to be on Friday nights. Come into the Shark tank and get ready to see some exciting football,” Shorten said with conviction. “We are going to win a lot of games. I want to win championships at Malibu. I’m going to hit the ground running and I expect to be successful and to develop a contagious successful attitude that the Malibu community and Malibu football team will breed. Breeding success is the key to winning football games.”
Malibu gains a coach who is enthusiastic, goal-oriented, disciplined and self-motivated. Shorten said his number one goal is to first build confidence, belief and pride within the Malibu community, starting with his own players, then to the parents and administration, and finally trickling down to the Malibu Sharkies, the City’s newest youth football program.
Second, he emphasized the importance of Malibu kids staying local and playing for their home school and not at programs over the hill.
“It’s very important for kids to understand that many, many years down the road, one of the biggest experiences in high school sports is the bond you make with your classmates, your neighbors and buddies from the community,” said Shorten. “Too many kids decide that there are other options and other avenues to go play and they miss out on all that.”
Shorten, his staff and players will be looking to create a fresh and energetic buzz around town, promoting the future of Malibu football. If things go as planned, Malibu won’t just be another name on an opponent’s schedule, but rather a presence to be dealt with, week in and week out.
The Sharks’ offense will stretch the field and take what the defense gives them, playing an exciting brand of football. MHS will play an aggressive defense that will feature multiple packages and coverages, designed to disrupt and create havoc for the opposition.
“I enjoy scoring on defense as much as I do on offense,” Shorten said.
Shorten is also a believer in getting kids exposure at the college level. He has had his share of success stories at Oak Park and believes Malibu will be next. Shorten has placed players at UCLA, USC, Arizona, Fresno St., Air Force, Penn and Brown, to name a few.
“I’ve already reached out to colleges for Malibu High,” he said.
Athletic Director Chris Neier felt Shorten was the right hire for the next chapter of Malibu football.
“Terry is great. He coached at Oak Park so he is familiar with the teams that we play,” Neier said. “He knows what it is like to work with a small community. He is full of enthusiasm and is ready to take on the challenge. He’s ready to go and we are very happy.”