Another Lompoc Brave has come back to the campus – this time to solidify the football coaching staff.
And Ricky Aguilar is returning after a lengthy stint in the college coaching game.
The 2001 Lompoc High graduate is the latest to join the Braves, confirming his decision with the Lompoc Record on Friday.
Aguilar returns to LHS after a decade-long run at Hancock College – where he ran the Bulldogs’ defensive unit and turned them into one of the state’s best defenses. Lompoc High head coach Andrew Jones says Aguilar will be a teacher on campus and will likely have a role with coaching the Brave linebackers along with defensive coordinator Dustin Davis.
Lompoc High football’s defense has an extra coach on the staff – in shoulder pads and helmet.
Aguilar confirms that he plans to teach on the LHS campus come August after obtaining his master's in athletic administration and coaching. He's spent the summer running the football weight lifting classes at Hancock College.
"I've always wanted to teach and coach," Aguilar said by phone. "And anytime you get a chance to coach at your alma mater, it's a dream."
Aguilar first dove into coaching in 2009, when AHC head coach Kris Dutra got him on board to coach up the Bulldog defensive linemen. Aguilar eventually worked his way up to defensive coordinator -- a post he ran the last six seasons.
Through Aguilar’s coaching and play-calling, the Bulldogs became one of the more feared run defenses in the state – with an 11-man unit that kept the scoring to a minimum against opponents.
Last season, AHC only allowed 17.7 points per game last season and surrendered 83.3 rushing yards and 193.0 passing yards in 11 games. In 2017, the Bulldogs ranked No. 4 in total defense with 46 sacks (No. 2 in the state) and allowing just 78.9 yards through the ground game.
And Aguilar says his defensive philosophy was never a complicated scheme for his players to learn.
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"I don't like making my schemes complex. You get guys from out of state and fresh out of high school," Aguilar said. "And as a defensive coach, I don't want to run something that our guys couldn't do. Our defenses play fast. We had some checks, but I kept it simple and I send a lot of pressure."
He ran a stack defense at AHC -- which utilizes three down lineman and three linebackers. Lompoc High already runs a similar scheme with Davis at the control.
Lompoc High graduate Andrew Galindo will keep wearing the color blue at his next stop.
For Jones, he gets to have a family friend joining him on the Brave coaching staff.
"I've known Ricky since I was 8. His wife is also best friends with my wife. We're obviously excited, and so is Dustin. We have another guy on defense who can help get things rolling," Jones said by phone. "It's exciting to have one of your friends side-by-side with you."
Aguilar starred at linebacker for the Bulldogs from 2004-05, forming a hard-hitting duo with fellow All-Conference ‘backer Trevor Shamblee. Although, Aguilar had a late start with his collegiate football career, as he gave professional baseball a try before deciding to return to the gridiron.
Following AHC, Aguilar went on to play NCAA Division II football at Missouri Southern State, where he moved over to the defensive line.
Aguilar lined up at running back and linebacker for the Braves and became an All-Northern League performer. Aguilar and Jones were additionally brief college teammates at AHC.
Aguilar also becomes the latest AHC Bulldog alumnus to fill the Braves' staff -- joining T.J Jordan, Eddie Scipio, Matt Sims, Josh Powers and Paul Ross.