New beginnings: Castro Valley hires John Trotman to be next head football coach

The John Trotman era has officially begun at Castro Valley High School.

On Thursday, The Trojans announced Trotman will be the school’s next head football coach. The former St. Mary’s-Berkeley coach amassed a 17-6 record in two seasons, including an 11-1 finish in 2022.

“There were only a couple of schools that if an opportunity ever came open, I would just throw my name in the hat because of the potential I felt like the program had and Castro Valley was one of the few schools,” Trotman said.

“Growing up playing at San Leandro high, I got to face Castro Valley as a kid, and watching that program from afar, I’ve always been an admirer of the program. I know they haven’t had much success recently, but I always felt like it was a sleeping giant that has great potential.”

Trotman’s hire comes nearly two months after former Castro Valley coach Denny Molzen announced he was resigning. The Trojans have just one winning season since 2013 and have not made it to the North Coast Section playoffs since 2012.

Castro Valley went 4-6 overall and 2-3 in a competitive West Alameda County Conference Foothill Division last season.

“We were looking for someone who had experience as a head coach and who had a passion for supporting students in their development and growth,” said Kathleen Stacy, athletic director at Castro Valley.

“Throughout the entire process, John continued to exemplify passion, vision, experience and professionalism that we knew would enhance the program here.”

Trotman said he hopes his experience playing and coaching in the WACC will help smooth his transition.

“I feel like this league is home,” Trotman said. “I was an offensive coordinator at San Leandro for eight years. When I was head coach at Piedmont, we were in the WACC. So, I feel like I don’t have to watch much film on these coaches because I kind of know what they all do.”

In 2022, Trotman led the Panthers to a NCS Division VI semifinal berth. St. Mary’s made it back to the NCS playoffs this past season, but was defeated in the first round by Salesian.

Before St. Mary’s, Trotman was the head coach at Piedmont for two years.

There is work to be done for Trotman before the season starts. He needs to put together his staff and a meeting with returning seniors and prospective players is planned for Friday.

Trotman will also have to adjust to fundraising for his team, something he didn’t have to worry about in his previous two stops as head coach.

“I haven’t fundraised in so many years,” he said.

“Even though Piedmont was a public school, it very much operated like a private school similar to St. Mary’s. Neither school wanted to fundraise, it was more of just asking the boosters what I wanted. Nine times out of 10, I was going to get it. But I come from a place in San Leandro where we had to fundraise for everything, so it’s just kind of a reset.”

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Castro Valley is slated to return three of its all-league players — Connor Cooper (running back/linebacker), Zayde Hickman (wide receiver/cornerback) and Uate Veamatahau (tackle).

Trotman has set lofty goals for himself and the team heading into next season, saying, “I haven’t met the kids. I haven’t watched hardly any film. I really don’t know what I’m walking into. But that’s no excuse for us to not have success in year one. So I have every expectation for us to go and win every game we play. That’s my expectation for myself and the team.”

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