Kenny Sanchez has been an assistant coach at Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) for the past six seasons. On Wednesday, he was officially announced as the Gaels’ head coach. His brother Tony Sanchez, who was the team’s head coach, is now the head coach at UNLV. Jim Halley of USA TODAY Sports asked Kenny Sanchez a few questions now that he’s in charge of the team that finished No. 1 in this past season’s Super 25 high school football rankings.
What’s the first thing you changed in your new office?
I have been so busy. Since Tony left, my new office is still pretty much an empty office with a bunch of papers. My old office was right next door, so the first thing I brought over was a picture of me with my parents.
What holes will you have to fill on the team?
The program is so big now that we lose a lot of seniors and a lot of them are good. But you’re also expecting to lose good players and you’re expecting good players to step up.
You started offseason workouts on Wednesday. Any surprises?
I was surprised that every kid from, freshman to JV, to varsity, were all there ready to go. No one called them. It is just assumed that we start up the first day after break and they were there.
A legislator (state assemblyman Harvey Munford, D-Las Vegas) is trying to get a bill passed in the Nevada Legislature that would ban the Bishop Gorman High football team from the state playoffs. What’s your reaction?
“We heard some of that a couple of years ago, to ban Gorman. I didn’t think much of it. With a job like this and being at Bishop Gorman, you can’t worry about things you can’t control. You just shrug it off and worry about your kids and try to make sure the parents in the community know we’re all in this together.”
What big-time opponents would you like to play next season?
We just got done talking to Bellevue (Wash.), so it looks like we’ll be going there. I have some two-year deals that are in place where we’ll play at home with Servite (Anaheim) and at Bingham (South Jordan, Utah). We’re still working on the schedule. I would love to play De La Salle (Concord, Calif.). Some of the other schools that have called us include Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.), IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) and Cocoa, Fla.
When did it feel like you were a head coach?
Yesterday, when I started my dean duties that go with the job. Plus, once the media release was sent out, I was on a radio show and got calls from reporters. That’s when you start to feel like a head coach. The rest of the job is not that different. I’m still the defensive coordinator.
What’s the big difference between you and Tony?
I hope nothing is notably different. He did such a great job, if nobody notices a difference, that’s great. Other than the fact that he’s a little taller and has more hair, it shouldn’t look a lot different.