SDSU Football Names Richard Sanchez as Assistant Coach
Jan. 22, 2018
SAN DIEGO - San Diego State football head coach Rocky Long has announced the addition of Richard Sanchez as an assistant coach. Sanchez, who has 26 years of coaching experience, including 16 years as a head coach, will work with the Aztec secondary and will assist with the special teams.
Sanchez comes to The Mesa after spending the last nine years as the head coach of local power St. Augustine High School. In his nine seasons, Sanchez led the Saints to an 83-29 record with two CIF San Diego Section championships, three runner-up finishes and five Eastern League titles. The 83 wins are the most in school history. In 2016, Sanchez received the National Football Foundation Meritorious Coach-of-the-Year award. Sanchez also coached current Aztec safety Tariq Thompson, who in 2017 was named a Freshman All-American by two publications and a second-team all-Mountain West selection.
“It is my distinct pleasure to join Coach Long’s staff,” Sanchez said. “I first met Rocky when I was a head coach at Montclair High School back in 1997. He is a man of character and integrity, and I share his philosophy as a head coach. Since my time at SDSU as a G.A. (2000-01), I’ve had aspirations of getting back to campus and being a full-time member of the Aztec football family. Coach Long and his staff have done a terrific job of developing tough, physical and intelligent football players. It’s an honor to work with such an outstanding football staff.”
Prior to St. Augustine, Sanchez spent 11 seasons in the college ranks, including a four-year stint at Sacramento State as the special teams coordinator while working at times with the running backs, tight ends and offensive line. Under his tutelage, Hornet punter Mitch Lively was chosen as an All-American.
Before Sacramento State, Sanchez worked one year at Valparaiso University, serving as the recruiting coordinator, special teams coordinator and secondary coach. With Sanchez’ help, the Crusaders led Division I-AA (now FCS) in pass defense in 2004 (128.8 yards per game), and led the Pioneer League in numerous special teams categories.
Prior to working at Valparaiso, Sanchez spent two seasons at the University of San Diego with the running backs, while serving as the specials teams coordinator for one year. In 2003, the Torero special teams limited the opposition to 0.4 yards per punt return. Sanchez also worked with Mid-Major College All-American running back Evan Harney, who ranked second in DI-AA rushing in 2003.
Sanchez, who spent the summer of 2002 with CFL’s British Columbia working the special teams and wide receivers, began his college coaching career at San Diego State as a graduate assistant with the offensive line during the 2000 and 2001 seasons under head coach Ted Tollner.
Sanchez also coached at San Diego High School from 1998-99 and at Montclair High School from 1994-97. At SDHS, where he was also the athletic director, he took a program that had lost 20 straight games and led it to an 11-9 record over the two seasons. Additionally, he build the program up from 30 players to over 90 players across the two levels. At MHS, Sanchez turned a losing program into a league champion at 9-3 in his first season.
As a player, Sanchez played two seasons as a wide receiver at New Mexico State, while also coaching the defensive backs and wide receivers at Las Cruces High School. He also played at Southwestern College, where he was the MVP of the 1988 Hall of Fame Bowl. Post college, Sanchez played semi-professionally for the San Bernardino Blitz.
A San Diego native, Sanchez graduated from Sweetwater High School, leading the team to a 36-1 record over his time there as a defensive back, quarterback and wide receiver.
Sanchez earned his master’s degree in exercise and nutrition at SDSU in 2002 and his bachelor’s degree in education from New Mexico State in 1993.
Sanchez lives in Bonita with his wife, Maria, and children Kristiana and Ricky.