SAN JOSE — For the second time in less than a week, a high-profile Bay Area high school football coach has stepped down for an out-of-state position.
Sione Ta’ufo’ou is leaving Archbishop Mitty for a coaching job under former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer at Lipscomb Academy in Nashville, Tennessee.
Offensive coordinator Danny Sullivan, a former Los Gatos High and Arizona State quarterback, is taking over for Ta’ufo’ou as Mitty’s interim coach for the upcoming season, the school announced Monday.
Before moving to Mitty, Sullivan was Palo Alto’s head coach for two seasons.
“We are extremely grateful to Sione for the time and energy he devoted to our program,” Mitty athletic director Brian Eagleson said in a statement. “He and his staff have done a tremendous job mentoring our student-athletes and teaching lessons that will lead them to success far beyond the football field.
“We are sad to see him go; but this move enables Sione to pursue his career aspirations in football and his fiancé and him to build a home. This is a great opportunity for Sione, and we wish him nothing but the best.”
The news comes five days after Liberty coach Ryan Partridge resigned to become linebackers coach at Ferris State University in Michigan.
Ta’ufo’ou led Mitty to the Central Coast Section playoffs in each of his two seasons.
Sullivan was a star quarterback at Los Gatos. He was an assistant at his alma mater before taking over at Palo Alto in 2016.
“Danny will provide great leadership for our program going forward,” Eagleson added in the news release. “He has a dynamic offensive mind and the ability to adapt our style of play to best fit our personnel and maximize our potential.
“We are encouraged by the trajectory of our program the past few years; by keeping Danny and the staff together, we are eager to build on what they started. They share our passion for Archbishop Mitty and our vision for creating quality student-athletes.”
Ta’ufo’ou told Sullivan about the move last week and broke the news to the team on a Zoom video call because of coronavirus restrictions.
“The biggest thing is the coaching staff is going to be with me, too,” Sullivan said. “We’re kind of going into this together. Everything the kids have done the last couple of years, the culture that’s been built, the hard work will come with it. We’re just making sure the kids are all right and they understand that we’re with them.”