Notre Dame Sherman Oaks high school football coach Kevin Rooney retires after 40 years of leading the Knights

Notre Dame Sherman Oaks head football coach Kevin Rooney is retiring, the school announced Monday. Rooney spent the last 40 years as head football coach at Notre Dame. He had also been the school’s Athletic Director from 1980 to 2018.

Notre Dame went 316-143-5 under Rooney. The Knights won four CIF titles and 16 league championships in that time.

“I love coaching,” Rooney said in an interview last December. “I love the relationship with the kids and with the coaches. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.”

While the on-field accomplishments are impressive, Rooney’s tenure won’t be defined by wins and losses. He’ll be remembered more for his role as a mentor. Ask anyone in the Southern California high school football community about Rooney and they’ll tell you he’s an exceptional builder of men.

“He wants to show us the way and help us move forward in life,” senior nose tackle Quintin Lyons said at Mission League Media Day in August. “He’s trying to prepare us for the world.”

Senior safety Justin Horton added: “[Coach Rooney] teaches us that it’s not only about football, it’s about being a better person, being a better man, being a better brother and growing up and being a better parent.”

Rooney’s final game at the helm of Notre Dame came two weeks ago in the first round of the Division 2 Southern Section playoffs. The Knights fell 24-21 to Vista Murrieta.

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