ABC7-NFL High School Coach of the Week: Roddy Hiatt of Salesian


"In 1979, I started with a couple other police officers, friends of mine, we started the (Los Angeles Police Department) Centurions football (team). I was their head coach for 15 years," he said.

Hiatt led the LAPD's football team to four police national championships. Numerous high school and college coaching gigs later, Hiatt has taken his winning ways to Bishop Mora Salesian High School in Boyle Heights.

Salesian has not lost a single league game during Hiatt's first three seasons and the Mustangs have also gone to the CIF semifinals for the first time in school history.

"When we took over 3 1/2 years ago, within a month the kids bought in to our program," Hiatt said. "They've worked hard and they've dedicated themselves to Salesian football," he added.

"We set our goals at the start of summer that our goal is to win the state championship. Our goal is to win the CIF Championship first and then get into state."

While the coach can boast a winning record on the field, he's an educator at heart. He teaches religion and health education at Salesian, and the Mustangs have one of the higher team GPAs.

"Last year, we had 81 players and 43 of them were on the honor roll," Hiatt said.

"The CIF minimum requirement is a 2.0. He tells us 2.5. He pushes us that extra limit. It's a little bit of a hassle, but it helps us out in the long run," said Jihad Vercher, Salesian's quarterback.

Hiatt has a positive spirit and gentle kindness. Those are the words of Salesian's principal and vice principal, who nominated coach Hiatt for this week's honor of ABC7 NFL High School Coach of the Week.

That spirit and kindness can also be seen in the more than $500,000 Hiatt has helped raise for the Blind Childrens Center.

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