The man behind Palo Alto defensive effort in the 2010 CIF Division I state football championship is the team's new head coach.
Jake Halas, who was Paly's defensive coordinator from 2008 to 2012, has been hired to replace veteran Earl Hansen.
This is the first head coaching job for Halas, who left the program following the birth of his third child. He also coached the Paly softball team five years ago before his wife gave birth to twins.
Halas, who is a special education teacher at the school, coached the Paly defense during a 48-12-2 record. He was behind the Vikings' stunning 15-13 upset of nationally ranked, offensive-minded Centennial-Corona in the 2010 state finals. Palo Alto finished 14-0 that season, the best mark in school history.
Hansen, who announced his resignation as head football coach and athletic director a few weeks ago, is still looking to fill the AD position. That announcement is expected to come in spring. Halas said he is not interested in that position at this time.
Hansen finished his 26-year coaching career at Paly with a 198-97-3. Including his five years at San Lorenzo Valley, Hansen's 31-year career stands at 216-108-3. The Vikings were 6-6 this past season, the first time in six years that Halas did not oversee the defense.