Paul Carion just can’t get away from coaching. After 15 years of coaching at the high school level, he accepts a job, wins a championship, and then retires. Shortly after retiring, a job pops up somewhere and he’s quickly back on the court with another school team.
“I’m excited to start my 14th year of coaching high school girls basketball, and my 25th overall,” he says, after accepting the head coaching position at Jefferson High School. Prior to his first high school job, he coached in various youth community sports programs.
This time he is replacing his daughter, Marisa Igafo, who was in her third year as the Jefferson varsity girls coach.
“Marisa has built a strong program the three seasons that she was at Jefferson and I’m excited to try to take them to the next level,” said Carion. “We have a talented group, including six seniors, and I’m going to try and build on the success that Marisa had.”
Carion’s first coaching job was at his alma mater, Oceana High School, in 2005. That year’s team, with a 19-9 record, qualified for the Peninsula Athletic League playoff for the first time in the history of the school, and went to the Central Coast Section playoffs. He coached there for four years where he was able to coach both of his daughters, Rachel and Marisa.
He then took a break so he could watch Marisa play college ball, first at DeAnza and then at Cal Maritime. In 2012, Marisa and Paul accepted coaching positions; she was at Oceana as junior varsity girls head coach, and he at South San Francisco High School as varsity girls head coach, where he stayed until retiring in 2021.
At South City, his 2018 team won the PAL tournaments for the first time in 18 years and the CCS for the first time in school history. They became the No. 1 ranked girls public school basketball team in both the CCS and San Francisco Section.
After retiring from South City in March 2020 he applied to be a volunteer assistant coach at Jefferson with his daughter.
“Because of COVID-19 it was up in the air if there would even be a high school basketball season, and when it was finally decided that there would be a season, South City was scrambling for a coach,” said Carion. “I reached out to them and we decided that I would coach one more year. I again retired in June 2021 and began as an assistant at Jefferson right after.”
Both Carion and his daughter are off-campus coaches.
In September 2021, she received a promotion at work making her unable to fully commit to the team. She then asked her dad if he would consider taking over the program.
“I spoke to my wife of 35 years, Ana, about the opportunity,” said Carion. “Being a head coach at the varsity level is a big commitment. For me, basketball season is during my busiest time of the year with my full-time job.”
Since 1987, Carion has worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a letter carrier at the San Bruno post office.
“So I don’t end practice until 8:30 at night. It does take a toll on the family. And now that I have four grandchildren, I was looking to do less and spend more time with them. But with my passion for coaching and with the encouragement and support of Ana, I decided to apply for the position,” said Carion, who was inducted into the Pacifica Sports Hall of Fame in 2019. “On Nov. 14, I was offered the job which I gladly accepted.”
Nomicos steps down
After 21 seasons of coaching baseball, Dino Nomicos has stepped down as Skyline College’s head baseball coach to accept a new role as the college’s interim athletic director and dean of kinesiology, athletics and dance.
Nomicos is taking over the athletic department from Joe Morello who held the position for 15 years before being promoted to vice president of administrative services.
Nomicos is the winningest baseball coach in the history of Skyline, accumulating a record of 419-358. He came to Skyline in 1987 as assistant coach and took the head coaching job in 2000. During his tenure, he produced 18 All-Americans, with over 30 players signing professional baseball contracts.
Nomicos has close ties to Pacifica with lots of friends and former teammates living in the community. More than 60 Pacifica-grown athletes have played for him at Skyline.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Nomicos, 59, attended St. Ignatius High School. He later attended Cañada College and the University of San Francisco where he played baseball. He also played two years of independent professional baseball in Montreal, Canada.
Asked how was it that he could get so many Pacificans to play for him at Skyline, he replied, “I think it’s my reputation of having coached at the University of San Francisco (1984-1990) and Cañada College (1990-1996). And, I have always recruited.”
He says his proudest accomplishment at Skyline is “the 95 percent of student-athletes I have graduated to four years schools, with 80 percent receiving scholarships.”
While coaching at USF, the first scholarship he gave was to Doug Hupke, an Oceana graduate, who played at Skyline and USF in the 1980s. Following graduation, he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals and played two years of professional baseball. In 2006, he was inducted into the Pacifica Sports Hall of Fame.
Skyline athletes from Pacifica whom Nomicos calls exceptional for their talent are: Jimmy Parque, a two-time All-American who later played in the St. Louis Cardinal organization and was a 2018 PSHOF inductee; Will Vogl, also an All-American, who was signed by the New York Mets; All-American Marcus Pointer who played at University of the Pacific and is currently the Skyline pitching coach; and Ray Falk who played at Ole Miss.
Terra Nova High School sent many players to Skyline over Nomicos’ time as coach. He recalls the 2020 team being dominated by Terra Nova athletes: Jeremy Keller, Andrew Roy, Dylan McDonald, Nate Rumb and Cole Soywarda.
His recent promotion is actually the second time he has held a new administrative job. He briefly held the position of A.D. and dean during the 2005-06 school year, but declined so he could focus on coaching.
“At that time, I felt I was not ready to be the A.D. and I was building the foundation for the baseball program,” he said. “Now, this is a great time in my career to help continue to build a great athletic department.”
For now, Nomicos will hold the interim title for both positions but plans to permanently reapply for the respective positions.
Tony Brunicardi, Skyline
assistant baseball coach, will assume the duties of head baseball coach.
-Horace Hinshaw is Tribune sports editor emeritus.