After 19 years, three consecutive conference championships and back-to-back bowl wins, Allan Hancock College Head Football Coach Kris Dutra is ready to change roles.
This fall, Dutra will turn the head coaching reigns over to current defensive coordinator Seth Damron. Dutra will remain on the sidelines, serving as a full time coordinator and position coach.
“It’s time,” said Dutra. “I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but we weren’t in a position for me to step back in a way that would ensure continuity for our student-athletes.”
Hancock Athletic Director Kim Ensing officially announced the transition for the Bulldog football team effective fall 2020. According to Ensing, the change was made in a collaborative effort between both coaches and athletic administration.
“There are a lot of moving pieces behind the scenes when it comes to oversight of a community college football program,” Ensing said. “For 19 years, Coach Dutra has poured his soul into the team, both on the field as a coach and off the field as a mentor. Coach Dutra has been a fixture in our community for two decades, leading this program with professionalism and integrity.”
Dutra leaves the head coaching position with a career record of 119-81 after his 19 seasons at Hancock.
“I have had the fortune of a great run as head football coach at Allan Hancock College and have been considering this next chapter for some time,” said Dutra. “At this point in my career, it is time for new and different challenges. I appreciate the support I have received from my Bulldog family and I am excited about my continued work with AHC football in a new capacity. Coach Damron is the right guy to oversee the Bulldogs from here. I have total confidence in his ability to take the lead.”
Dutra’s career-winning percentage of 60 percent ranks second among Bulldog coaches who have coached more than three seasons. He is only the second Bulldog head coach to reach 100 career wins and surpassed Hancock coaching legend Barney Eames for total wins in 2018. In his final three seasons as head coach, Dutra led the Bulldog team to a 27-5 record and three consecutive outright American Pacific Conference titles, three bowl appearances, and back-to-back bowl game wins.
“These are hard jobs and Kris did this for 15 years as the only full time coach. That’s how dedicated he’s been to our students,” said Allan Hancock College Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D. “When he told me he wanted to make this change, I was surprised, but completely understood.”
During his career, Dutra was responsible not only for on-field success, but overseeing academic successes as well. Under his leadership, dozens of players made all-conference and scholarathlete team. More than 100 of Dutra’s players signed letters of intent and went on to play at the four-year level and some in the NFL. The most notable of those players, Cameron Artis-Payne, played for the Bulldogs during the 2011-12 seasons and went on to play for Auburn University.
Payne was drafted by the Carolina Panthers, playing running back on the team that went to the Super Bowl.
“It’s great that Cameron played in the NFL and earned a NFC championship ring,” Dutra said, “But what I’m most proud of is that he got his degree at Auburn. That’s ultimately our measure of success – helping young men find their way to a successful life.”
Seth Damron enters his fifth season with the Bulldogs, where he served as offensive coordinator for three seasons and wrapped up his first season as defensive coordinator this year. Prior to Hancock, Damron served as the linebacker and special teams coach at Humboldt State University, a Division II program. He also spent three seasons on the Colorado Mesa coaching staff and was responsible for the defensive line and special teams.
Damron’s offenses earned three consecutive top 10 finishes in several major rushing categories. In the 2018-19 season, the Bulldogs ranked first in total rushing yards, yards per game, and rushing touchdowns. In his first season as defensive coordinator, the Bulldogs defense had their best showing since the 2000 season. The Bulldogs ranked in the top five for total points allowed per game, third in yards allowed per game, and first in passing yards allowed per game.
“I want to thank President Walthers and Kim Ensing for putting their faith in me, and allowing me to lead our young men,” Damron said. “I especially want to thank Coach Dutra for his mentorship, and how intentional he has been in preparing me for this next step in my professional life. God has truly blessed me by surrounding my family and I with great people, both here at the college and in the community of the Central Coast. It has been a lot of fun working here at Hancock, and I am excited to push the program forward alongside Coach Dutra in our new roles.”
The Bulldogs open the season at home Saturday, September 5, at 2 p.m. against Hancock’s oldest rival, Santa Barbara City College. The Bulldogs currently lead the all-time series 34-24-1.
Provided by AHC