Nine months ago, Chris Vicory stood on a football sideline opposite the College of the Redwoods football team.
Vicory (pronounced VICK-ery), the offensive coordinator Mendocino College in Ukiah, helped coach the Eagles to an 18-16 victory over the Corsairs on October 13, 2012, in Eureka. Mendocino overcame a 16-6 fourth-quarter deficit for the road win.
Next time the two teams meet, Vicory will be decked in the red and gold of the Corsairs. The 26-year-old was named head coach of the Redwoods football team Wednesday, replacing longtime coach Mike Cox.
“I was drawn here having been very familiar with the program,” Vicory told the Triplicate in an interview Wednesday. “I wholeheartedly believe you can be successful not only at CR but at Humboldt County.”
Cox, CR’s head coach and defensive coordinator in 2012, is retiring from coaching after 22 years with the Corsairs. He will retire from his position as physical education professor at the college at the conclusion of the 2013–14 school year, according to a CR release.
CR must also hire a new offensive coordinator, after Matt Tomlin left the school this summer to accept the positions of athletic director and head football coach at St. Bernard’s Catholic High in Eureka.
“I’ve got some feelers out with guys been working in the past,” Vicory said of the coordinator openings. “First and foremost is to hunker down and get the program stable. (I’m letting) the guys know there is someone in charge.”
Vicory is a firm believer in the junior-college football experience because of the success he found during his own playing career.
A native of Rio Linda, Vicory spent two years at American River College in Sacramento before transferring to Humboldt State in the fall of 2007. Vicory — listed at 5-foot-11 and 276 pounds — spent two years as an offensive lineman for the Lumberjacks.
Vicory stuck around Arcata after his senior year to coach at Humboldt State, supervising the tight ends and running backs for three seasons and the offensive line for one season. He was hired before the 2012 season as Mendocino’s offensive coordinator.
CR athletic director Joe Hash contacted Vicory “a couple of weeks ago” about the Corsairs’ opening, Vicory said, and both sides moved quickly.
“That shows the foundation here at CR, that I was able to commit that quickly to the program and the college here,” Vicory said.
Fall camp for College of the Redwoods football begins on Thursday, Aug. 15. The Corsairs take on College of the Siskiyous in Weed for their first game of the 2013 season on September 7.