‘Coach Z’ takes the reins of Aztec football program as successor to Gary Venturo

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Zane Zamenski will succeed long-time Corona del Sol football coach Gary Venturo, who headed up the Aztec program for 22 years.

Zamenski, 47, will be only the third head football coach in Corona’s 32-year history.

“Mr. Zamenski comes to Corona with an extensive football coaching background at a variety of levels and we feel he will be an asset to the Corona community,” said principal Susan Edwards.

Zamenski’s football background includes playing collegiate football and more than 25 years of coaching experience at the high school, college, junior college and professional levels.

Zamenski accepted, right out of high school, a scholarship to play football and baseball at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. He relocated after his freshman year to Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, and from there to Brigham Young University, where he was the backup quarterback to NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young.

Zamenski graduated and went on to get a Master of Arts in Physical Education and Coaching degree from BYU while a graduate student and volunteer assistant football coach.

“I began my coaching career right out of graduate school when I was hired to coach at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas,” said Zamenski.

“I continued coaching for 11 more seasons at the college level prior to my brief professional coaching experience with the Tucson Mirage of the I.P.F.L. in 1999.”

Besides BYU, which won a National Championship in 1984, and Stephen F. Austin, who were National Runner-Ups in 1989, Zamenski coached at Scottsdale Community College, Western New Mexico and Mesa Community College before entering the private sector.

“I worked as a manager for a group home for a short while and then ran an event management business for approximately three years,” said Zamenski.

He was approached about coaching at South Mountain High School and eventually accepted the offensive coordinator position under George DeLatorre for three years. When DeLatorre left, he was hired as the head coach, a position he held for the past two years.

Zamenski, who met for the first time with Corona football players Feb. 10, said he hopes that the challenges he faced at South Mountain will help him bring a fresh outlook to resolving any similar situations at Corona.

“Some of the most challenging problems we faced at South Mountain included decreasing student populations while continuing to participate at the higher classification level, loss of student-athletes to neighboring school districts with more attractive athletic programs, and overcoming an overall pervasive apathy for participation in the community for the sport of football,” said Zamenski. 

“All of these issues made it particularly challenging to continue to experience success in that district.”

“I believe that the problems facing me at South Mountain were fairly unique, but I know that I can bring a fresh outlook with which to resolve problems or issues that might arise during my tenure at Corona as a result of my experiences with the South Mountain Community,” said Zamenski.

“I know that young men are looking for direction and motivation at all schools, and I believe that my philosophy of inclusion and opportunity will play well with all of the student-athletes at Corona with whom I am involved,” continued Zamenski.

“I know that correct principles, fundamental instruction, and spirited leadership will provide young men with the necessary tools to be successful both on the field of competition, and in the arena of life.”

Zamenski, or Coach “Z” as his players often call him, plans on continuing one of the approaches he used at South Mountain: the player commitment contract.

“A commitment contract is a wonderful tool to assist the coaches in their attempt to aid players in their focus towards the season goals and objectives, which are set at the beginning of each year,” said Zamenski. 

“Oftentimes it serves as a reminder to both the player and his parents of the tremendous time commitments that are required for the sport of football, and can be very helpful in resolving potential conflicts that might arise throughout the season.”

Zamenski believes that through hard work and dedication, all things are possible. His objectives for Corona’s football program will always remain consistent and similar for the upcoming and future seasons.

“Those objectives simply stated are: #1—Regional Championship, #2—State Playoff Participation; #3—State Championship,” Zamenski said. 

“Without being overly simplistic, if we maintain our focus and take the objectives in their appropriate order, we will achieve them in time and with frequency.”

Zamenski said he will adjust his offensive and defensive scheme according to his players’ talents and abilities, but he has a couple of sets in mind.

“Our schemes will include a wide open multiple-pro set on offense which is an extremely fun offense for the players to run and for the fans to enjoy,” said Zamenski.

“On defense, it will include 7- and 8-man defensive fronts, with an attacking element that allows for an exciting up-tempo pace on defense, also very entertaining for the fans of Aztec football.”

“Overall, though, it must be understood that exactly what we will do on offense and defense will be tailored to what our players can execute.  We will always put our players in the best possible position to succeed, according to their talents and abilities.”

Zamenski, who has a son in the Navy and a daughter in college studying to be a nurse, will be on campus full-time teaching Interscholastic Sports Training and Health Education.

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