St. Augustine High hires Ron Gladnick of Torrey Pines as head football coach

Torrey Pines head coach Ron Gladnick is leaving the school to lead St. Augustine's program.
(Denis Poroy)

Gladnick has been one of most successful coaches in San Diego County over past six years


St. Augustine High filled its football head coaching vacancy by naming Torrey Pines’ Ron Gladnick to replace Joe Kremer. Gladnick is one of the most successful high school coaches in the county over the last eight seasons, going 50-35, including 10-1 in 2018, winning two Avocado League championships.

Gladnick, 60, is the 24th head coach in 99 years at St. Augustine.

“Coach Gladnick has a first-class resume in local prep football circles,” said St. Augustine Principal James Horne.

“I poured my heart and soul into Torrey Pines, and telling those kids I was leaving was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” said Gladnick, who is 0-4 against Saints’ archrival, Cathedral Catholic.

“But I’ve always been enamored with the private school mindset and structure. There are great people here at St. Augustine, people who want to win

“With the kind of program I run and with the Saints’ culture there is no reason we can’t win.”

The Saints were 2-9 last season and 2-2 in the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season. St. Augustine was 22-18 in four years under Kremer.

The Saints were 83-29 under Richard Sanchez in nine seasons before Kremer.

Sanchez left to coach the defensive backs at San Diego State, worked as an assistant at Southeastern University in Florida, and is now the head coach at perennial Northern California power Cardinal Newman High in Santa Rosa.

“We’re excited having Coach Gladnick join us,” said St. Augustine assistant principal Mike Haupt. “He is going to be an excellent addition to the Saints family.

“He is an outstanding coach and has great energy and enthusiasm for developing young men, on the field, in the classroom, and beyond.”

Gladnick, who was an All-American defensive lineman at Hillsdale College in Michigan, started his coaching career at Brecksville High in Ohio before serving seven years as a defensive line coach at Hillsdale where he was part of an NCAA Division II national champion in 2005.

Moving to California, he took over as head coach at Clairemont High in 2012, going 10-12-1 in two seasons.

He was hired at Torrey Pines in time for the 2014 season.

“When I took over at Clairemont, the program was a mess,” Gladnick said. “Torrey Pines had fallen on hard times when I started there. So I’m comfortable with getting programs back on track.

“I’m 60 years old, but I’m a young 60 because I enjoy being around young kids. This is a new challenge, and I’m reinvigorated.”

Gladnick said 148 students showed up for a recent football meeting at St. Augustine.

“Ron has demonstrated an ability to win while focusing on the development of character in his program,” said St. Augustine Athletic Director Matt Linville. “He is a great fit for the Saints community.”

Torrey Pines Principal Rob Coppo said the school must go through the formal process and will post the football position.

“We’re motivated to move quickly, and hope to have something done by late next week,” Coppo said.

In the interim, assistant head coach Robert Collins will run the program.

“You always know losing a good coach is a possibility,” Coppo said. “We tell all our coaches if there is an opportunity out there for you, go for it. And St. Augustine is a fine school.

“Right now, this is a win-win for everyone … St. Augustine gets an outstanding coach, and we’re in very good hands with Rob Collins as we work through the process.”


12:43 p.m. Feb. 5, 2022: This article was updated with quotes and additional information.