In explaining why he recently resigned as football coach at Mountain View High, Toure Carter didn’t offer one reason – he listed several.
“It was a bunch of stuff,” he said.
Carter cited the lack of compensation and support – along with family considerations – as the biggest factors in his decision to step down after two seasons.
He said his coaching salary – approximately $5,000 per season – wasn’t nearly enough to make it worth missing so much time with his family, which includes a daughter born a year ago. Carter added that he’s been pursuing other football jobs for the last year and was recently hired to coach defensive backs at West Valley College in Saratoga.
“It was a tough decision (to leave), because I care about the kids, but it was something I had to do. My family and I have to eat,” Carter said. “(The new job) allows me more time with my family and to eat more.”
He acknowledged that the college game might be more to his liking.
“There are some things in high school football that bothered me,” said Carter, who played seven seasons in the Arena Football League after excelling as a defensive back at Ashland University in Ohio.
Carter expressed his frustration with how challenging it is to get Mountain View High students to play football – he started last season with a roster of only 33 – or simply attend games.
“I’m one of the hardest-working coaches, and I have high expectations,” he said. “To be at a place where the culture of football is not there … it was like pulling teeth to get kids to come out (for the team).”
Last season Mountain View drew its biggest crowd against Homestead in the first night game on campus, playing under temporary lights despite opposition from neighbors.
“When you’re in a community that fights against lights for kids, it’s an uphill battle,” said Carter, also known as "TC."
That October game – a wild shootout the Spartans won 50-41 – ranks among the highlights of Carter’s coaching career.
“We made history with the lights and the come-from-behind win,” he said. “That was special, and so was going 7-3 my first year and proving the critics wrong.”
But Mountain View posted the opposite record last season and finished ahead of only Homestead in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division.
While Carter said it’s a struggle for the Spartans to compete in the daunting De Anza Division with so few players, he expects the team to improve – eventually.
“It might get worse before it gets better, but it will get better,” he said. “Mountain View gets waves of talent, and they will again.”
Mountain View High athletic director John Payne – who confirmed Monday that he, too, has resigned (effective at the end of the school year) – would only say Carter “left for personal reasons” and declined to comment about the coach’s impact on the football program.
Payne posted the job opening online last week. Carter said he doesn’t expect any members of last year’s coaching staff to apply for the position. Offensive coordinator Trevor Pruitt was hired as head coach at Los Altos in February and took defensive coordinator Shonte Jiz de Ortega with him.
For more information on the job opening, visit www.edjoin.org/viewPosting.aspx?postingID=475793.