Justin Lowell has been hired as the new football coach at Valley Christian High in Dublin, Vikings athletic director Scott Babinat announced Thursday.
Lowell guided Northgate to the North Coast Section Division II quarterfinals in 2013 and the semifinals in 2012 during a successful six-year run, when he was credited with resurrecting the program.
He had a 36-31 overall mark, including three seasons with at least nine wins.
"It was an opportunity that was presented to me," Lowell said of his decision. "I wasn't searching. Northgate is a great place, a great community. We were able to build something that's really consistent there over the last few years. Valley Christian just seemed like an opportunity for me to do something in that community and build something that was kind of special."
Northgate athletic director Steve Chappell gave Lowell high marks.
"We're sad he's leaving," Chappell said. "He's a great guy. We're going to miss him as a teacher. We're going to miss him as a football coach. We're going to miss him as a friend. We wish him well. ... This is a great opportunity for him."
Lowell was hired to replace Jim Heal at Valley Christian. Heal guided the Vikings to a runner-up finish in the NCS Division V playoffs in 2013, the best finish in school history. The Vikings have made the playoffs in all five years of the young program's existence, including the first four under former coach John Parrella.
The talented 2013 squad boasted five seniors who signed on national signing day last week: Logan McHone, Theman Taylor, DeMaurier Blackwell, Vince Volpattii and Sean Flynn.
Northgate is just beginning the process of selecting a new football coach, Chappell said.
Lowell will hold fond memories of his time at Northgate.
"The administration at Northgate and the school there has been supportive of me and my family," he said. "Building the program will be missed. We'll miss the friendships that we've developed, but I think they'll be in good hands."
Lowell made a positive impact on and off the field
"A great guy and great coach," said Jon Campopiano, a former Northgate athletic director who took part in hiring Lowell at Northgate. "He helped the program mightily. Unparalleled success."
Campopiano, now the vice principal at Oak Grove Middle School in Concord, also praised Lowell's commitment to his players off the field.
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