Jake Knesel, 33, was recommended to the Banning Unified School District board as the new football coach at Banning High.
The meeting was Wednesday, May 17 (too late for publication).
Knesel played football and baseball at Etiwanda High in Rancho Cucamonga and was the football and baseball coach at Arroyo Valley High in San Bernardino. Most recently, the Banning resident has been the offensive line coach at Beaumont High.
“I feel good — I’m excited,” Knesel said. “There’s a lot of work ahead. The culture needs changing. Discipline will be an emphasis. Football has a big impact on the whole campus so it will be important.”
Knesel is set to replace John Tyree, who has left the program. Banning went 3-7 overall last season and 3-4 in the Desert Valley League.
Knesel is set to teach next school year at Banning.
He said he will install a spread offense and use some elements he learned last season from Beaumont High coach Jeff Steinberg, including incorporating a tight end.
Knesel was the football coach at Arroyo Valley for five years and the baseball coach for two. The baseball team made the CIF-Southern Section Division 7 finals in 2021 against Lancaster at Blair Field in Long Beach but lost 3-2.
There are challenges at Banning, but Knesel has faced tough situations before. At Arroyo Valley he did not have a wealth of players and even erected an EZ-Up on campus and displayed Hawk gear to try to induce students to sign up.
Banning had a healthy number of participants at the underclassmen level last season and it will be up to Knesel to keep those players competing.
Banning’s season opener is Thursday, Aug. 17, against visiting Big Bear.
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