Larry Singer was named head football coach at American Canyon High School on Tuesday, replacing Ernie Lawson, who resigned after one year with the Wolves.
The announcement was made late Tuesday afternoon by Jill Stewart, American Canyon’s athletic director.
“It’s sad to see Ernie go,” said Stewart. “I really thought he did a good job. We’re very fortunate that Larry was ready to take over the program and has the experience, the knowledge and a great personality.”
Lawson cited personal reasons for his decision to step down. Hired in July, Lawson led the Wolves (7-4 overall) to a share of the Solano County Athletic Conference title with Benicia.
It was American Canyon’s third straight SCAC title. The Wolves lost to Vista del Lago-Folsom in the first round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.
“The administration was great,” said Lawson. “Jill Stewart and (principal) Mark Brewer were great. I’m always going to be thankful to them for giving me the opportunity and for giving me the support throughout the year to really try to help me as a football coach.”
Stewart expressed her confidence in Singer, who played football at Garden City Community College in Kansas as an inside linebacker.
“He has a wealth of football knowledge, great organizational skills and committed long-term to the football program and our student athletes,” said Stewart. “The student athletes will transition well as they all know and respect him.”
Lawson played football at San Diego State from 2006 to 2010 and was a graduate assistant coach for two years at the University of Michigan.
He was a first-year head coach with the Wolves.
“I appreciate everything Ernie did,” said Singer. “He came in with a philosophy, and he stuck to it and didn’t waver. I think the kids came out better for it. I think they’ll have a better life experience because of what Ernie did.”
Lawson was an assistant coach at Santa Fe Christian High School of Solana Beach, California, in 2011.
At Michigan, he worked with linebackers one year and defensive linemen the other.
Lawson was a four-year letterman and three-year starter on the defensive line at San Diego State. He appeared in 43 career games with 30 starts. He totaled 79 career stops, 19 tackles-for-losses and four sacks for the Aztecs.
He played both defensive tackle and defensive end in college.
He was honored as the Aztecs’ most inspirational player as a redshirt freshman and was co-defensive MVP.
He was a SDSU scholar-athlete and a preseason All-Mountain West Conference pick by Phil Steele magazine.
“He did a tremendous job coming in late July, taking charge of the program, leading them to a league title and playoffs,” said Stewart.
Singer has been a coach in the American Canyon football program since the school’s opening five years ago. He was a varsity assistant this past year, coaching the offensive line.
“He helped Ernie with a lot of organizational tasks,” said Stewart. “He was ready to step into the position. I don’t think we’re going to miss a beat.
“He knows the kids; he has great rapport with them. He’s a fantastic person.”
Singer, 38, is originally from Kansas. He is a graduate of Kansas State, earning a degree in management and a minor in business.
He has been the Wolves’ freshman and junior varsity head coach.
“It’s definitely an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” Singer said about taking over as head coach. “I’m very excited about the possibilities. We’re keeping a lot of the same staff around. I’m leaning pretty heavily on my assistant coaches.”
Earl Joseph III will continue as the Wolves’ offensive coordinator.
“He’ll be a huge help for me,” said Singer. “I have confidence that as coaches, we can coach up the kids and make them successful. And that’s what it’s about.
“If the kids are successful as far as learning how to be good football players and good people and good citizens, then we’ve done a good job.”
Singer teaches in the school’s culinary arts program.
He will have the winter, spring and summer to get the Wolves ready for their 2015 season.
“As coaches, we’re excited,” he said. “We’re excited about the way our offense is shaping up. We’re excited about what we’re going to be able to do and the players we have coming back.”