Portola’s first varsity football coach, Peter Abe, believes the wait was worth it.
“Definitely, good things come to people who wait and prepare,” an enthusiastic Abe said in an interview last week at Portola. “When opportunity comes knocking, you’ve got to be ready to answer the door.”
Abe, 33, said he is “living the dream,” preparing the Portola football program to play on the varsity level in September of 2018 when it will join five other Irvine public high schools in the all-Irvine Pacific Coast League. The squad will play its home games on the on-campus stadium which opened last fall.
The Bulldogs will have freshmen and sophomore teams this fall. The sophomores will play a junior varsity schedule.
Abe, who was a physical education teacher at South Lake Middle School, went through head football coaching interviews at Beckman and Northwood which ultimately prepared him for the Portola interview. He was a finalist for both jobs but was not hired for either one.
All it did was inspire Abe to work harder to try and land a head coaching job one day.|
Abe definitely had his ties to Irvine. He competed in football and track at Irvine High from 1997 to 2001 and was a part of the Vaqueros’ CIF championship football team in 2000.
He later got his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology at Cal State Fullerton and then secured his masters in athletic administration and coaching at Concordia University.
Abe had numerous coaching roles in 12 years at Irvine, including a stint as co-head track coach with Brenton Youngren. He also served as assistant football coach on numerous levels and was the offensive coordinator on the varsity for one season.
He eventually was named assistant assistant athletic director at Irvine before deciding to move to Villa Park, where he helped head football coach Dusan Ancich with the offense…