Carson High football fans may think they're going back to the future again when it comes to the 2008 season.
Blair Roman has been named the new head coach of the CHS football team, replacing Shane Quilling, who stepped down at the end of this past season. And Roman will be joined by a familiar face, as Bob Bateman will join his staff as an assistant coach next season.
It will be a flashback to the 1990s for Carson High football fans. Bateman served as the Senators' head coach from 1993-2000 and Roman was an assistant for seven of those years from 1994-2000. Now the roles are reversed, but Roman said his relationship with Bateman won't change.
"The way we worked together it wasn't a hierarchy," Roman said. "The guy's an outstanding person and an outstanding coach."
It's no secret that many can't figure out why a school as large as Carson hasn't had more success in football. Since 1970, the school has had only 10 winning seasons.
But several of those winning seasons came during the time that Bateman and Roman coached in the 1990s.
"I had a great experience in helping him to build the program," Roman said. "Some of the most fun times we've ever had to be honest with you."
"I have a very good indication of what some of the issues are," said Roman about why the program hasn't been more successful. But I also have a plan to deal with those issues, I really feel that way.
"Lack of talent has not been the problem. You can come up with a million reasons why we haven't been as successful as we wanted to be."
Roman said the foundation will be generating excitement in the program on campus and in the community and making playing football a positive experience for the players.
"My No. 1 goal as a coach - I want kids to be proud that they were part of this program," Roman said. "The program is not far off from being pretty good in my opinion."
Bateman has served as Douglas High's defensive coordinator under coach Mike Rippee for the past seven seasons. Roman, Bateman and Rippee are all closely tied together.
Roman was Rippee's first quarterback after the coach took over at Douglas in 1986 and Bateman was an assistant for Rippee then.
It's still to be determined in which capacity Bateman will serve on Roman's staff.
After graduating from Douglas in 1987, Roman went on to play for Butte Community College in Oroville, Calif. He was recruited by now-Oregon coach and then Chico State coach Mike Belotti, but Roman decided to stop playing to focus on coaching.
He was an assistant coach at Butte for four years and earned his degree from Chico State in 1992. When Bateman took over at Carson, Roman approached him for a job. "I gave him a call and said I'm looking for a job and he got me one here," Roman said.
In 2000, Roman earned his master's in education and administration from the University of Nevada. He teaches history at Carson and was named the social studies department chair this year, which Roman said is one of his proudest accomplishments.
After serving under Bateman, Roman became the first head coach at North Valleys, serving in that position from 2001-2004. He laid the foundation there for a program that has advanced to the Northern 4A playoffs the last three seasons.
At North Valleys, Roman had the chance to coach against his mentor, Rippee, and come next season he'll coach against Rippee for the first time as arch rivals.
"It was weird," said Roman about coaching against Rippee. "When the game starts and the kickoff starts those kind of things go out of your mind. He had an incredibly positive influence on my life."
Roman came back to Carson in 2005 and served as an assistant under Quilling the past two seasons.
"I think it's as awkward as you want to make it," said Roman about taking over Quilling. "Shane got out for the right reasons.
"It's not an awkward situation believe me. We consider ourselves friends. Shane and I have a great relationship."
Roman noted that Carson lost several close games last year and a key will be to win those games.
"It sounds simple. We need to do a better job as coaches and get our kids to perform better on the field."
But Roman also said to promise that Carson would start winning state titles is "completely irresponsible."
He's happy, though, to accept the challenge of becoming the Senators' coach. "In a lot of ways it's kind of been a long-time dream to have an opportunity like this at Carson," Roman said. "It was quite an exciting phone call to get when they informed me."
And CHS athletic director Diane Baker Roberts said the school is just as excited. "We're as pleased as can be," Roberts said. "We believe he'll bring a chance to Carson City and Carson High football."
• Contact Sports Editor Charles Whisnand at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1214.