Longtime BC kicking coach steps back as son takes over

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - In a sport often measured by strength and speed, longevity in football is rare attribute among players and the men that coach them.

For the last 27 seasons of Bakersfield College football, longevity has been defined by kicking coach Lorenzo Alvarez.

"I've seen a lot of good players come through here at every position. Been fortunate enough to have been on a National Championship football team here," Alvarez said, reminiscing on his years at the school. "I've seen a lot of kids that have come through here go to the NFL and to major universities, which is always fun, to watch them play somewhere else."

Alvarez joined the Renegades in 1987 and says he loves to see his team win, but that making sure his players become better men has always been his priority.

"I'm out here to try to teach, and hopefully the kids grasp what we're doing, the concepts of what we're trying to teach them," he said. " I hope that when I finally retire, which is soon, that people remember me for what I've done here at Bakersfield College, for the character of the young men that we've been able to build here."

Time came this season, however, for Alvarez to take a major step back from his longtime duties of coaching kickers and long snappers, raising a question among he and his fellow coaches that hadn't been asked in decades: who will coach the kickers?

"There weren't very many games I'd watch from the stands. I was always down on the sidelines in either a water boy position or as a ball boy," said Matt Alvarez, Lorenzo's son and the Renegade's new kicking coach. "He's still here to make sure that I don't screw it up too bad, but I want to continue the legacy that he's brought here."

The 26-year-old, who spent his entire life on the sidelines at Renegades games, became an easy candidate to take over coaching kickers.

"We were talking about retirement and who would take over," Lorenzo Alvarez said. "So, this year was kind of a role reversal, where Matt is actually the kicking coach and I'm out here just to consult and help in any way that I can. He really doesn't need my help. He knows what he's doing."

But Matt Alvarez knows he has a lot to live up to.

"I think he set the bar pretty high, in terms of on and off the field at BC," he said. "If I can amount to half the man that he is here at BC and off the field, then I think I'll have done a pretty good job in life."