Coaches

LEIGH COLE - HEAD COACH

Coach Cole started coaching high school football in 1989 when his old high school offensive line coach, offered him a job coaching the receivers. Two years later Coach Cole became the Head Football Coach at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, CA. Coach Cole moved to San Diego in 1994 and has coached at Mt. Carmel HS, Mira Mesa HS and most recently, St. Augustine HS. Coach Cole was the Head Football Coach at Del Norte High School from 2011-2014. During his tenure, he and his coaching staff lead the Nighthawks to the playoffs four years in a row, winning one Valley League Championship.  His teams had a winning record at home (13-10) and won Del Norte’s 1st home playoff game in 2012. Under Coach Cole’s leadership, Del Norte has had 14 players play football in college.  Four to Community College,  four to Division III, one to Division II and five to Division I. One, Quenton Meeks, will enter into the NFL Draft this year.

Coach Cole is a teacher at Abraxas HS and has been there since 1994.  He excels at developing professional, trusting relationships with his students and feels a calling for his role there. 

Coach Cole graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Physical Education in 1988 after playing a year of football and baseball in 1982 & 1983 and training for the Olympics for the United States, on the National Team Handball squad from 1985 to 1988. He played football, basketball, and baseball at Mountain View High School earning All-League honors in all three sports. As a quarterback, he led the 1980 team to a 10-1-1 record losing a tie-breaker in the semi-final game of the CCS Playoffs. Later that year he was voted the Peninsula Times Tribune Athlete of the Year and Palo Club Athlete of the Year in 1981.  Coach Cole lives in Rancho Bernardo with his wife Jill. They have three sons, Anthony Cole, Christian Cole, and Jalen Fields, one daughter, Jinel Hutchings and two grandchildren; Caliyah and Mekhi.

IAN DAUM - VARSITY OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR 

Ian Daum is entering his fifth season coaching football at Del Norte High School (2011-2014, 2018), and the 8th season coaching football overall. He spent the last three years coaching tight ends at Saint Augustine High School (2015-2017), helping the Saints to Open Division CIF and Division 1 CIF championship appearances in 2015 and 2016, and winning the Eastern/Western leagues in 2015 and 2017. Coach Daum was also with the Nighthawks when they won the Valley League championship in 2013. 

 

In addition to coaching football, he also coaches track & field at Del Norte High School. He specifically coaches JV and varsity sprints and relays, helping the boys win 3 consecutive CIF team titles from 2013 to 2015 and a 2nd place finish in 2017; and helping the girls to three consecutive top-three team finishes. 

 

Coach Daum is from San Diego where he graduated from Westview High School then attended Cal State Northridge, where he ran track and earned a bachelors of science degree in kinesiology. He is currently teaching special education in the Poway Unified School District, at Mesa Verde Middle School. 

CRAIG CASEY - VARSITY DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR

Craig Casey is entering his first season as Defensive
Coordinator and his first season at Del Norte High School.
He comes to the Nighthawks after six seasons as the
Defensive Line coach at Mt. Carmel High School which
included a 2015 CIF Final appearance.

 

Craig served on active duty in the United States Army
as an Infantry Officer from 2003 to 2009. His assignments
included training in Ft. Benning, GA and two combat
deployments to Iraq with the First Cavalry Division out of
Ft. Hood, TX.

 

Craig graduated from the United States Military
Academy at West Point, New York in 2003 where he
participated in three years of football. Previously he
attended the West Point Preparatory School and Mt.
Carmel High School, class of 1997. Craig was a two year
letterman in football and basketball at Mt. Carmel.

 

Craig is the proud father of his daughter Cameran
Casey, an 8th grader at Mesa Verde Middle School.