CONCORD -- All signs point toward the end of the Bob Ladouceur era at De La Salle.
The school will hold a Friday news conference where Ladouceur, California's all-time winningest high school football coach, is expected to announce that he is stepping down as the Spartans' head coach.
Ladouceur acknowledged in December that he was contemplating retirement after 34 seasons and 399 wins. The legendary coach, never one to bring attention to himself, will be on hand for the 3 p.m. announcement.
When reached by phone Thursday evening, Ladouceur said he wouldn't be able to comment on what will be addressed until the news conference.
"I have people I still need to talk to," he said.
The school didn't
Offensive line coach Justin Alumbaugh, a 1998 De La Salle graduate, is expected to be Ladouceur's successor. Alumbaugh, who began coaching at De La Salle while still a college student at UCLA, runs the Spartans' offseason conditioning program.
Ladouceur, 58, is well-known beyond the Bay Area for coaching the Spartans to a national record 151-game winning streak from 1992-2003.
When De La Salle beat Centennial-Corona 48-28 on Dec. 15 for its fourth consecutive Open Division state championship, he told reporters he would decide after the holidays whether he'd return for
At the time, Ladouceur also hinted that he'd likely stay with the program in some coaching capacity if he was to retire from head coach duties. Defensive coordinator Terry Eidson, Ladouceur's coaching partner since 1981, also sees that as a likely scenario.
"I've told everyone he's not going to retire entirely, he loves coaching," Eidson said after the state title game win. "What he's going to do, it's going to be something at De La Salle. ... He's not going to quit
Senior running back Tiapepe Vitale said the De La Salle players hadn't been informed of any changes to the coaching staff as of Thursday night. He also said there was no team meeting scheduled but acknowledged the rumors about Ladouceur's possible retirement.
"I'm not sure if he's going to step down or not, but I think the program is heading in a positive direction even if he leaves," said Vitale, who broke the Spartans' single-season rushing record this year.
Ladouceur took over at De La Salle in 1979 as a 25-year-old with no head coaching experience. His teams have gone on to win five mythical national titles, five state championships and 28 North Coast Section titles, including the past 21. De La Salle hasn't lost to a Northern California team since 1991.
Ladouceur, who also teaches religious studies at De La Salle, has coached several players who have gone on to NFL careers, including Amani Toomer, Maurice Jones-Drew, Derek Landri and D.J. Williams.
But getting the most out of players with far less talent is considered to be his greatest gift.
"He knows what each kid can give him, and he's relentless in getting that out of them," Eidson said. "That's his greatest strength as a coach. He doesn't just give up and say, 'This is not going to be the year.' He keeps pushing until they reach their potential."
A movie on Ladouceur and the De La Salle football program starring Jim Caviezel is currently in the works. The film is based on Neil Hayes' book, "When the Game Stands Tall," which chronicled the 2002 season.
Ladouceur's possible retirement comes with the program in a good place.
The Spartans have won 26 straight games, and a number of impact players will return from a squad that finished the year ranked No. 1 in the nation by ESPN and No. 4 by USA Today.
The list includes quarterback Chris Williams, running back/linebacker Das Tautalatasi and linemen Sumner Houston, Larry Allen Jr. and Drew Sullivan.
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The Ladouceur File
Education: San Ramon Valley High School, San Jose State University
Coaching record: 399-25-3 (in 34 seasons)
Titles: 28 North Coast Section titles, five CIF state championships (since 2006), ranked No. 1 in final USA Today national poll five times
Etc.: Member of San Jose State and National Federation of High Schools halls of fame