Pete Lavorato, who built Sacred Heart Prep into a high school football power, is leaving SHP to take the head coaching job at The King’s Academy.
Lavorato cited TKA’s proximity to his home in Saratoga as the primary reason for his decision.
“My wife and I take care of my wife’s mom, who is 94,’’ Lavorato said. “With the grind of football season, it was getting harder and harder. I’d leave at 7 in the morning to go to Sacred Heart and not get back until 7 at night. King’s Academy is much closer. I could go home for lunch."
Lavorato won five Central Coast Section championships in a six-year span from 2010 to 2015 at Sacred Heart Prep and took the Gators to two state final appearances.
“My decision has nothing to do with Sacred Heart,’’ Lavorato said. “I cherish the 14 years I spent there. The school was tremendously supportive. Anything I asked for they gave.’’
Sacred Heart Prep Athletic Director Frank Rodriguez said Lavorato leaves quite a legacy.
"Pete's been a dynamic leader whose been a successful varsity head football coach in every way possible." Rodriguez said. "As terrific as he's been on the field, he's been even a better role model and mentor to hundreds of boys who now realize that effort, discipline, accountability and playing for the guy next to you can lead to things you could never imagine. He's left an indelible mark on our SHP community and he'll certainly be missed. We wish him nothing but the best moving forward.
"It will be very odd to begin our football season next August and not see Pete Lavorato wearing cardinal and white on the sidelines," Rodriguez added. "It is all I've known in my twelve years at Sacred Heart Prep."
The job at The King’s Academy came open when head coach Michael Johnson was hired as an assistant at the University of Oregon.
“I felt it was time to try something new, try something different,’’ Lavorato said.
Lavorato, a native of Canada who played in the Canadian Football League, coached at Gilroy High before taking the SHP job in the early years of the program.
The Gators were initially in the North Coast Section as a member of the Bay Counties League. So was The King’s Academy, making Lavorato quite familiar with the program’s history.
The two schools developed a rivalry while in the NCS and made the move to the CCS and Peninsula Athletic League at the same time.
“I’m very excited to be able to coach the young men at King’s Academy like I did at Sacred Heart,’’ the 64-year-old Lavorato said.
“It was a difficult decision to make. I have two hopes: One, that at The King’s Academy we have a team that will be respected on and off the field. And two, that Sacred Heart will continue to have success.’’