In search of its next head football coach, Desert Hot Springs High School didn’t have to look far. Turns out he was there all along.
The Golden Eagles announced Thursday the hiring of Will Littell, a longtime coach already teaching at the school. He is the third football coach in less than a year at the DHS, and will take over a program that finished 2-8 in 2013 under Eric Perry.
Littell is a 1990 graduate of Palm Springs High School, where he was a standout football player. He went on to play at College of the Desert and Humboldt State University, a Division II program in the Northern California town of Arcata.
After college he accepted an assistant coaching position at Palm Springs before eventually moving on to coach the defensive line, running backs and special teams at COD. He then assisted L.D. Matthews for five seasons at Desert Hot Springs.
Under Matthews, Littell coached special teams, defensive line and was the junior varsity head coach for a time. He took last year off when Matthews left to be the first head football coach at recently opened Rancho Mirage High School.
“He’ll bring a lot of excitement of enthusiasm, that’s for sure,” Matthews said of Littell. “They’re getting a great guy to run their program. He’s always studying the game, learning new techniques. I think they are very fortunate to get a guy like him.”
Palm Springs head coach Dan Murphy said he had previously tried to recruit Littell, a longtime friend, to be an assistant. But Littell insisted he wanted to help build the program at DHS.
“I think it’s a great hire,” Murphy said. “He’s been in that program and in that community for a while and understands the needs of the kids there.”
Littell will be tasked in his first stint as a varsity head coach with rebuilding a program that struggled throughout last season. And he’ll have to do it without a number of key players, including all-league running back T Armstrong.
In a statement, Littell said there is an “abundance of talent waiting to be worked with” at the school and that this will not be a rebuilding year but “reloading year.”
Said Littell: “I feel that with my experience not only as a player, but also from all of the years I have coached and with the coaches that I have been lucky enough to work with, this has helped me to prepare for this exciting new challenge.”