Steve Dilley made his mark the past several years as Carson High’s special teams coordinator.
This year, Dilley has been tasked with running Carson High’s defense after former head coach and longtime assistant coach Bob Bateman stepped down for personal reasons.
Bateman’s resignation ends his lengthy 13-year on-field relationship with Roman, Bateman was on the staff at Douglas when Roman played for Mike Rippee. Bateman was head coach at Carson for eight years, and has served as an assistant under Roman since 2008.
“Our relationship goes way back,” Roman said. “He’s (Bateman) coached in five decades. When we talked (before school got out) all indications were that he was coming back for one more year. I think he wants to focus on his own kids and grandkids.”
Dilley becomes Roman’s third defensive coodinator. Bateman held the job originally when Roman was first hired, and then Jim Franz took it over. Bateman retook the position after a year’s absence, and now it’s Dilley’s turn in the hot seat.
Dilley played high school football at Burrows High in Ridgecrest, Calif., and then went on to play two years at Siskiyous Community College. He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Carson’s defense has been up and down in recent years despite the team’s success. Last year, Carson allowed 333 yards and 32 points a game. Carson has given up a lot of yards the past few years, but has kept teams out of the end zone often enough times in key situations to win four league or conference title in the last five years, including three straight from 2009 to 2011.
Three of the team’s top tacklers, linebacker Nolan Shine, safety Asa Carter and defensive end Brady Rivera, all return.
Shine, who also may be the team’s starting quarterback, finished with 105 tackles. Rivera, who played middle linebacker and defensive tackle last season, had 90 stops. Rivera is expected to move to defensive end this year. Carter, a starter as a sophomore, had 94 tackles and two interceptions.
“I’m excited,” said Dilley, who has worked with defensive backs, wide receivers and run special teams under Roman in the past seven years. “It was kind of unexpected. Coach Bateman had commented during spring ball that he was good to go another year. Nothing is going to change. We want 11 guys flying to the ball and playing hard. We have given up a lot of yards, but at the end of the game the only thing that matters is what’s on the scoreboard. We’re going to play a 4-3 defense, but there are a couple of things I like to do (in terms of schemes) out of that.
“We have some great kids (in the program). I like the way they battle, They are a blue-collar group. They bring their lunch pails to work every day. I’m ready for the challenge. Brady is a very coachable kid, and we expect him to rush the quarterback. Nolan has a defensive mentality, and we’ll have to see where he ends up. Asa had a really good season last year.”
If Shine does start at quarterback, and he’s the favorite for the position entering summer practice, he may be a down-and-distance guy on the defensive side of the ball. It’s rare to see a starting quarterback also play linebacker. Normally if a QB is starting on defense, he’s playing corner or safety.
Dilley came to the Carson program when Roman took the reins from Shane Quilling seven years ago. Dilley’s hard work, especially coordinating special teams, has earned Roman’s respect. Dilley has been a coordinator at the lower level, but has never been a varsity coordinator.
“Steve had been coordinating our special teams since 2008, and we’ve played great on special teams during that time,” Roman said. “A lot of that success is because of him, and how he breaks things down. He has built great relationships with the kids. They respect and like him. I wanted to inject some new life on the defensive side of the ball.”
Roman said Vic Castro, who coaches defensive linemen, would run special teams, and Scott Witter would coach receivers for both varsity and junior varsity.