Chaminade College Preparatory High School Head Football Coach Ed Croson Retires; Associate Head Coach David Machuca Named Successor

Chaminade College Preparatory announces the retirement of high school head football coach Ed Croson.

Coach Croson first began his career at Chaminade in 1989 after coaching at Southern Utah State University, Los Angeles Pierce College, Notre Dame High School, and St. Genevieve High School. He served as Chaminade’s athletic director from 1993-1998 and became head football coach in 1998. Coach Croson left Chaminade in 2000 to coach at Birmingham High School. In 2009, he returned to Chaminade, taking over a program that had only won two games the previous year.

In the 13 years since Coach Croson’s return, the Eagles have earned the MaxPreps designation of All-Decade 2009-2019 and California State Top 20 (ranked #17). They played in the CIF-SS quarterfinals in 2009 (7-5-0) and the semifinals in 2010 (11-3-0) and 2011 (10-3-0). Chaminade won the Mission League title and reached the CIF-SS finals in 2012 (12-2-0). In 2013, the program won the CIF-SS and California State title (14-2-0). Recently, the Eagles qualified for the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs in 2015, 2017, 2018, the Division 1 quarterfinals in 2016, and the Division 2 finals in 2019. They also won Mission League titles in 2017 and 2020.

Every year since 2010, Chaminade has finished in the California State Top 50 (out of 1,100 competing high schools). Los Angeles Daily News has ranked the Eagles in the Top 10 every week since September 2009, including #1 in 2012 and 2013, and #2 in 2016 and 2020. Cal-Hi Sports named Coach Croson the 2013 California State High School Coach of the Year, and on October 1, 2021, he netted his 200th career win with Chaminade against Cathedral High School.

Mindful of Chaminade’s Catholic, Marianist mission, Coach Croson implemented a team Mass and meal before every game. He is proud to have sent 83 Eagles to play for Division 1, 2, 3 schools, as well as Ivy League colleges. “Chaminade is immensely thankful to Coach Croson for his shepherding of hundreds of young players over the years, and indebted to him for putting Eagle football on the map,” said Chaminade high school Principal Luis R. Guerra.

David Machuca, current associate head coach, will take over for Coach Croson. Coach Machuca has enjoyed two stints at Chaminade: between 2009-2011, when he helped the Eagles to back-to-back semifinal appearances; and since 2017, during which the Eagles were CIF-SS Division 2 finalists (2019) and won the Mission League title (2020). Coach Machuca and his wife Kristen have two young sons, Shane and Dylan, and a newborn daughter, Reagan. Mr. Guerra expressed that, “Chaminade is excited and blessed to welcome Coach Machuca into his new role as head coach. His passion for Chaminade football, and desire to build upon Coach Croson’s legacy of developing young players for lives of service, will tremendously benefit our program. With his strong understanding of Chaminade’s mission and culture, and reputation as a relationship-builder, Coach Machuca will work in partnership with his players and their families to advance the tradition of Eagle excellence.”

Chaminade Honors 19 Families with Family of Mary Award

For the past 29 years during the Baccalaureate Mass, the Family of Mary Award has been presented to families who have sent at least three children through Chaminade, with their final son or daughter graduating from the high school. On May 29, 2021, this tradition continued as Mrs. Jill Stewart, faculty member and a 2021 Family of Mary Award recipient, recognized the following families on behalf of Mr. Robert S. Webb, president of Chaminade College Preparatory. Many thanks for their long-standing commitment to Chaminade!

  • Paul and Cathy Barkes
    Andrew ’15, Emily ’21, and Jack ’21
  • Gregg and Jody Bruno
    Benjamin ’19, Madeline ’21, and Samantha ’21
  • Paul and Julaine Chilopoulos
    Paul ’15, Jonas ’19, and Joseph ’21
  • Ben and Jeannette DeSantis
    Ella ’16, Camillo ’17, and Leonardo ’21
  • Gregg and Nicole Dunn
    Taylor ’13, Jordan ’16, and Ella ’21
  • Gina MacAller Jacobellis ’82
    Alphonse ’07, Joseph ’10, Vincent ’14, and Camille ’21
  • Sean and Pam Jenkins
    Madison ’17, Garrett ’19, and Molly ’21
  • Frank ’84 and Kathy Macias
    Jack ’13, Luke ’18, and Elena ’21
  • Issam and Helene Najm
    Gabriella ’14, Christina ’17, and Sophie ’21
  • Sean Parsa and Liz Gaier
    Jack ’16, Luke ’18, and Grace ’21
  • William and Jacqueline Popok
    Henry Rivas
    Anica ’19, Gemma ’21, and Nola ’21
  • Rodger and Shannon Rutter
    Alexis ’12, Madison ’15, and Hayden ’21
  • Michael and Heidi Smith
    Alexander ’13, Nathan ’15, and Sydney ’21
  • Brian and Marci Stark
    Jacob ’14, Jared ’18, and Griffin ’21
  • Walt and Jill Stewart
    Nicholas ’17, Matthew ’19, and Jessica ’21
  • Asim and Huma Syed
    Shehroz ’16, Shanzey ’18, and Rayan ’21
  • Michael and Merly Uyanga
    Michelle ’17, Jennifer ’19, and Jeremiah ’21
  • David and Nikki Williams
    Parker ’16, Carter ’18, and Windsor ’21
  • Wesley and Amanda Wong
    Jacob ’16, Abigail ’18, and Ethan ’21

Chaminade Hosts First Athletic Event in Nearly a Year

It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly one year since athletic competitions were available for high school students. Excitement filled the air on Saturday, February 13, as Chaminade hosted its first sporting event since the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020. The Eagles welcomed St. Francis’ Boys Cross Country team for a dual meet, officially kicking off the high school’s sports season.

“It’s the first step toward getting back to normal,” says Chaminade’s high school Athletic Director Todd Borowski. “We are excited for the kids and excited for the schools.”

Cross country is one of the few sports cleared for inter-team competition in the purple tier. Only dual meets are allowed at this time rather than the usual “cluster” meets consisting of multiple teams. 

The meet was held on the grounds of Chaminade’s 19-acre West Hill campus. Athletes ran three loops to complete a total distance of 2.6 miles. 

“We are thrilled to see our high school cross country team competing again.” says high school Principal Luis Guerra. “This is a big moment for us. It’s great to see kids doing what they love and just being kids again.”

Chaminade received clearance from the State of California, LA County Dept. of Public Health, LA Archdiocese, Mission League, and the CIF to host the event. “We have taken every precaution, following all guidelines and protocols, to ensure the safety of all in attendance,” said Luis Guerra. Only athletes, coaches, and a few school employees serving as volunteers were permitted on campus. No spectators, including parents, were allowed to attend.

“For a while, we thought we weren’t going to have a season. It’s great we had this opportunity to use what we have been training for,” said Chaminade’s team captain Brandon LaRue ’21. “This set up was a great cross country style course with hills, and we are honored to be here.”

All athletes were required to bring their own water, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, a towel, personal items, and a mask, which they are allowed to remove during the race. There were no team tent setups, water refill stations, or food stations.

St. Francis coach Patrick Donovan said, “It’s absolutely fantastic to be out here. It’s been a long time coming. All the ups and downs and the difficult times we have gone through, it’s wonderful to watch the boys competing in their jerseys representing their schools.”

Playtime, Downtime, and Family Time

By Kathryn Howard, LMFT, PPS, CWA
High School Therapist/counselor

The year is at a close and it is a time to reflect on the courageous students, teachers, and staff that have continued to work diligently to be educated and to educate. This year has brought so many emotions, so many feelings, and everything in between. We are incredibly proud of our students trying their best every day during this incredibly challenging time.

During the winter break, we hope your family gets some time to relax and enjoy celebrations that come with the season. Remember your PDF-Playtime, Downtime, and Family Time.

Here are some examples of PDF time as defined by our Challenge Success sponsors:

  • Playtime means unstructured time playing outside, games, and other activities for fun.
  • Downtime is time set aside beyond structured activities or academics to relax, reflect, or just be.
  • Family time creates a sense of connection and belonging. Try to incorporate 20-25 minutes a day, 5 days per week

While a break from the stress and routine of the semester can be good for many, winter can sometimes bring more sadness and isolation, especially during quarantine. Here are some resources in case you or someone you care about needs support.

Chaminade Founder and Marianist Educator Joseph A. Rauser dies at the age of 82

Joseph Rauser, former middle school teacher, died on December 11, 2020, at the age of 82. He is survived by his wife Shirley and four children Steven ’91, David ’94, Danielle ’96, and Michael ’98.

Joe was a fixture at Chaminade for 50 years until his retirement in 2015. According to Middle School Principal Mike Valentine, “Joe dedicated himself to Marianist education and, in particular, Chaminade Middle School. He loved teaching grammar, coaching cross-country, and doing acrobatics in the classroom. But more than anything else he loved being around the students of Chaminade. Joe brought great life and energy to every class he taught, and he most certainly did his share of inspiring students to love, learn, and lead.”

Joe was named a Founder of Chaminade College Preparatory in 2015, the same year the Middle School Library Commons was dedicated in his honor. Plans are in the works for a memorial service when we are able to safely gather as a school community.

The following article was originally printed in Chaminade Now, summer 2015

Joseph Rauser began his amazing career at Chaminade in 1963. At the time he was known as Bro. Rauser, having gone through the Marianist Novitiate with Fr. Ted and Bro. Skip in 1958. He was a Marianist through and through, as he was a proud graduate of two Society of Mary institutions, Serra High School in Gardena and Chaminade University in Hawaii. After making the difficult decision to leave religious life in 1967, Mr. Rauser left Chaminade for two years and taught in the public school system. He missed Chaminade and the Marianist culture and was overjoyed when the principal, Fr. John McEnhill S.M., invited him back to teach history at the (then) Canoga Park campus.

The rest is Chaminade history, as Mr. Rauser has committed the last 46 years of his life to teaching the students of our school. That means that this year marks an incredible 50 years of dedication to Marianist education and Chaminade College Preparatory. During his historic tenure at Chaminade “the Rau” has worn many hats: he has been a dean, a dorm director, a basketball coach, and a grade-level moderator. But his greatest areas of devotion have been as an English grammar teacher, a high school and middle school cross-country coach, and the organizer of 8th-grade graduation. For a large portion of his career, Mr. Rauser taught grammar to 8th graders in his inimitable, energetic way helping to lay the foundation for Chaminade’s renowned writing program. He loved teaching his students the nuances of diagramming sentences while weaving in conversations on current events. Nearly every one of Mr. Rauser’s 50 years found him coaching a sport or two along with his teaching duties. His favorite sport by far was cross-country, where he inspired countless Eagle athletes over the decades. Whether he coached boys or girls, middle school or high school, all his athletes were proud to be part of “Rauser’s Runners.” Finally, Mr. Rauser cherished his role as 8th-grade moderator where he presided over all the middle school graduation festivities. He was famous for his meticulous line-up practices and his creative use of the megaphone.

There are those who claim that Mr. Rauser would do anything to make a point to his students, including dancing on their desktops, tiptoeing along the chalk tray, and doing cartwheels across the classroom floor. Certainly, some of the stories of Mr. Rauser’s antics are slightly embellished, but one thing that can never be exaggerated is his love for his students and his commitment to Chaminade. Joseph Rauser has spent his life making an impact on students from the tumultuous 60’s to the technological present. He has seen many changes in education during that span of time, but one thing that has not changed is his passion for teaching and his uncanny ability to connect with young people. For his one of a kind spirit and his unprecedented loyalty to Marianist education, Chaminade is proud to bestow on Joseph A. Rauser, for the second time, the title of Founder.