Coaching Staff History
Galileo’s Lasting Legacy and Tradition of Coaches
The contributions of every Galileo coach have attributed to the program’s success. The work put in can not be measured by championships alone as each effort is a brick that has laid a foundation for what the program is today; 16 city championships as of 2009 and staying competitive year after year.
Galileo Head Coaches
Mark Huynh (2009-recent, c/o ’90) ***
Kevin Adams (1993-2008)
George White (1973-1992) *
Larry McInerney (1969-1972)
George Poppin (1962-1968)
John “Pope” Illia (1945-1961)
Seb Passanissi (?-1944)
Ras Johnson (1930-1940-?) **
Ralph Chase (1929)
Howard Ross (1928)
James Bradshaw (1927)
James E. Spaulding (1926)
Fred Swan (1922)
? Bain (1921)
*Most league championships won (9)
** First city championship 1933
*** First state championship 2017
Coach Bain introduced football to Galileo in 1921 with a first game that resulted in a respectable 14-3 losing effort. The Lions played their first season with 11 and won much respect in a 26-0 loss to Cogswell in which they finished with 9 players. Bain joined the UCLA staff after 1 season.
A graduate of Berkeley High, Coach Fred Swan took over in 1922 to help Galileo win their first game, 27-2 non-league match against Bates. Then a 47-6 shocker in lower league-play against Sacred Heart. Swan left after 1 season to become captain of Stanford’s varsity squad before joining “Pop” Warner at Temple University.
After Coach McKnight’s 3-year stint, Coach James E. Spaulding took Galileo to the top as the Lions finished in a 3-way tie for first place but was defeated by Lick in the playoff, 7-0. Spaulding started a 3-year string of 1-year coaches; James Bradshaw followed Spaulding with Ralph Chase closing the 3-year carousel.
Ras Johnson took over in 1930 and put together a small dynasty with results of third, second and finally back-to-back city championships in 1933 and 1934, Galileo’s first and second titles. Johnson’s PE teacher position is the culprit for his long tenure, a much needed foundation for Galileo’s 13-year program.
By adding another championship in 1938, Johnson paved the way for “program coaches” who bucked the early trend of 1-and-done. After Johnson’s 3 crowns, Galileo fell into a 37-year drought before Coach George White came over from Balboa to begin an incredible 20-year run of dominance. White helped Galileo break the 37-year streak with a city championship in 1974 before reeling off for 8 more to total 9 championships in a 20-year career at Galileo. White’s program reach a pinnacle in a 3-peat that span 1988-1990 with an impressive 34-1-1 overall record.
Long time assistant to White, Kevin Adams (Serramonte High) took over in 1993 to add 3 more championships with a notable 12-0 season in 2001. Those 3 titles were assisted by defensive coach, Hudari Murray (Galileo ’90), a 3-time all-city linebacker at Galileo. Adams held the head coach position for 16 years before Mark Huynh (Galileo ’90) who played under White and Adams and was a teammate of Murray’s, took over in 2009. In his debut, Huynh with the help of a Galileo PE teacher, Don Harris who coordinated the offense that season, brought home Galileo’s 16th city championship to snap a city record of 15 also held by the defunct Polytechnic. After another city title in 2013, Huynh would go on to lead Galileo to win the city’s first state championship in 2017.
(The records here are not complete.)