Santa Monica, Ca – How do you follow up Four Straight American Pacific Conference Titles? That was the question starting this 2015 Santa Monica College Corsairs football season. This team delivered with an “Unbelievable” 11-0 and 5th consecutive title. The coaching staff was the one constant during this period of success behind the leadership of Head Coach Gifford Lindheim (Coach of year 2015) in his 7th full season (1st Year Interim).
This journey began back in the summer with a large group of hopeful football players eager to play for the great SMC Family football team. Not all who started on this journey were strong or fortunate enough to endure the pruning of college football season. Coach Lindheim started off the season the same way as his other teams caring for his players on and off field and in the classroom. Every player knows that coach will be there by phone or by facebook on their personal page. Each year The Corsairs grow as a FAMILY and it helps on the field in battle.
On the football field the up tempo offense was coordinated by Tim Kaub who been calling his spread no huddle offense for years. This season welcomed an old player from his High School era with the Utah Utes bound Troy Williams (Pacific Offense MVP 2015) who ran this offense with him to a title before. So the learning curve for Williams was little to none just going back into his memory bank. He saved his best performance for last JUCO game in the American Pacific Conference Bowl game with 7 Touchdowns (6 First Half) hitting 9 different targets. The defense made the field shorter by creating 7 turnovers (6 interceptions, 1 fumble) and a shutout of the Mountain League #2 Victor Valley.
We all know defense wins championships, led by Coordinator Steven Garcia who been running the ship for each of title runs. You will always hear his voice before you see him wearing our signature orange shirt to allow for defense to spot his calls easier. This defensive held its opponents to only 207 points for the season which was 18 points a game. They also put on an interception clinic in the championship bowl.
Every game wasn’t a breeze they had their fair share of scares and comeback wins during this magical run. Earlier in the year one of most gratifying victories was verse nemesis Southwestern 48-21. Then in a league game shootout with LA Valley 28-20, who won their bowl game verse Mountain #1. That showed how dominate the Pacific was this year making it even more sweeter of a season. The defense had 8 players make 1st/2nd team All Pacific league, with MVP being their very own Max Lyons.
The players can tell you stories for days on how special this season was and will continue to be. Coach Lindheim summed up this season in one word, “Unbelievable”; he would even let his team reflect on the season as they were winning week to week till Monday after their last victory to complete the 11-0 undefeated season and taking the torch from last SMC undefeated team 25 years ago.