Los Gatos has hired Mark Krail as its football coach, athletic director Shelby Edwards said in an email Sunday night.

Krail, who spent the past three seasons as the head coach at Santa Clara after a long stint at Pioneer, takes over for Butch Cattolico, who announced his retirement at the end of last season.

"We are very excited to have him as our new leader," Edwards said.

Krail, 49, called his new job "a chance of a lifetime" and "one of those that doesn't come along very often."

Cattolico led Los Gatos to 12 Central Coast Section and 16 league titles in 26 seasons. He stepped down seven wins from becoming the section's all-time winningest football coach.

"When you talk about Los Gatos High School," Krail said, "it has so many facets that are just outstanding -- from the academic part of it to the community part of it to the athletic part of it. There are areas of strength across the board. That's obviously very intriguing. It's got to be as good a job as there is in the area as far as teaching/coaching spot. I'm very excited."

Krail planned to meet with his former players at lunchtime Monday. He took over a 1-9 team at Santa Clara after building a successful program at Pioneer and immediately turned the Bruins into a winner, going 6-4 in 2010 and 8-3 with a CCS playoff berth in 2011.

Santa Clara, which moved up to the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division last fall, finished 5-5 after opening the season 5-0.

"It's obviously bittersweet," Krail said. "There are some great kids here and great adults here. It's not a place I was looking to leave. It just happened to be the circumstance that the Los Gatos job came about."

In a news release Monday announcing the hire, Los Gatos Principal Markus Autrey said, "Mark Krail brings with him the experience and attitude necessary to inspire our athletes to continue to compete and be model sportsman on and off the field.

"Wildcat football has a long-standing pride and tradition in Los Gatos thanks to previous great leadership. We are confident that Mark Krail will continue this tradition and lead the program successfully in the future."

Krail was named California Interscholastic Federation Model Coach for football in 2009 and CCS Honor Coach for football in 2005. In 2009, he was inducted into the Santa Clara County Youth Mentor Hall of Fame.

Check back later for more details on this developing story.

For more on high school sports, see the After School blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/highschools. Follow Darrrn Sabedra on Twitter at twitter.com/DarrenSabedra.