Cerritos' Nielsen Has New Challenge, Named Long Beach Jordan's New Head Football Coach
JON NIELSEN brings to Jordan a prolific passing style of an offense that has the potential of putting up numbers that could be the best in the state, if anything, best in the CIF-SS. May 25, 2022~When Cerritos resident Jon Nielsen was an offensive coordinator at Gahr High, he fell short of a CIF-Southern Section championship ring. Now, the person who never slows down at anything thrown his way is embarking on a new challenge in his life that he hopes will get him that elusive ring. Nielsen was recently hired as Long Beach Jordan High’s new head football coach, replacing Tim Wedlow who coached the Panthers to an 8-6 mark last season that ended with a 37-14 loss to Northwood High in the Division 11 championship game. It was the first time the program had advanced to the championship game. Nielsen has a plethora of coaching experience on the gridiron, most recently at St. Before that, he was the offensive and recruiting coordinator at Cerritos High from 2017-2018 and Gahr’s assistant head coach as well as the offensive and recruiting coordinator from 2009-2013. If it sounds like Nielsen has a chip on his shoulder, it’s not the case. What Nielsen brings to Jordan is a prolific passing style of an offense that has the potential of putting up numbers that could be the best in the state, if anything best in the CIF-SS. In 2007, while at Gahr as the co-offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator, nephew Corey Nielsen led the state in passing and was second in the nation with 4,363 yards.
The next season, Corey Nielsen was fourth in the state with 3,032 yards and left his high school career as the state’s 13th best passer and the 10th best in the CIF-SS. In 2009 with nephew Casey Nielsen under center and averaging a nation-best 400. On top of that, Jon Nielsen was instrumental in getting college scholarships to numerous players, including a pair of NFL players in Josh Perkins and Dwayne Washington. “When my offense is the best in the state and tops in the nation and you play a little defense, you should win,” said Jon Nielsen. Nielsen will incorporate pretty much the same offensive style he ran at Cerritos and at Gahr with some minor modifications. While this is Jon Nielsen’s first head coaching job at the varsity level, he’s been in this position at Carmenita Middle School (2002-2004) and was the quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, the Birmingham Thunderbolts of the original XFL and a trio of Arena Football League teams prior to his coaching days. Jon Nielsen says had he chosen the path that was given to him in the early 2000s when he was done playing professional football, he probably would have been an NFL head coach by now. “I came back from playing professional football in Canada for a promise I made to Corey when he was in fourth grade; that I would come back and coach him,” said Nielsen. In less than a month on the job, Nielsen says he has already changed the culture at Jordan. “With the whole Long Beach thing, there’s two different dynamics,” said Jon Nielsen.
He heard about the opening last season like most coaches do, which is following certain programs. “I knew those were the kids that I could coach,” said Jon Nielsen. Since his hiring, he says it’s been tiring almost every day, which begins with morning meetings with the coaching staff, talking about players and dealing with transfers. “I let my good staff of people to let them coach,” said Jon Nielsen. Jon Nielsen’s coaching staff consists of running game coordinator Rocky Lucero, who will also be the offensive line coach, Corey Nielsen, who will be in charge of the passing game and is the wide receiver’s coach, Richardson, who will be the assistant coach, recruiting coordinator and special teams coordinator and defensive coordinator Paul Guidry, who played at Gahr in the early 1990s and graduated there in 1992 before going to UCLA. Jon Nielsen also added Roman Fennell to the staff as the team’s strength and performance coach in what he calls the biggest coaching coup in Long Beach. As far as the 2022 team, he says that the best way to sum it up is a different player surprises him and the staff. “It’s the same; it’s four miles up the street,” said Jon Nielsen. “For me, it’s the same kind of kids that I’ve coached the whole time,” he continued. Jon Nielsen added that for him, it was the right opportunity at the right time for where he is in his life to be able to brand his new adventure.
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