New varsity head coach Drew Casani makes four great staff hires


A legendary player in the hallowed annals of Cub Football, 1990 CIF Div. I Southern Section Defensive Player-of-the-Year Drew Casani has gotten off to a fast start in his role as the new leader of the program.

As the new head coach is working furiously to reestablish the winning ways and championship legacy of Loyola's football program, among the things Casani has accomplished in very short order is the hiring of four dynamic assistant coaches who bring stellar experience and impressive credentials to the varsity staff.

Here is a brief thumbnail sketch of each of the new Cub assistants who will assist at the varsity level:

MATTHEW HATCHETTE, Varsity Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks

Matthew Hatchette knows the game of football. A strong armed Ohio high school signal caller, Hatchette transitioned to the wide receiver position at Langston University, where his receiving exploits led him to be drafted by the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings in 1997. After a four year tenure at Minnesota, Hatchette played for the New York Jets, Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Following his retirement from pro football the lure of the gridiron was still in his blood. For the past ten years he has coordinated the offenses at multiple schools, including big name programs such as L.B.Poly, Orange Lutheran and Calabasas. He also coordinated the offense at Pierce College.

Aside from his football avocation, Hatchette is a successful movie producer and actor.

Coach “Hatch” does not try to fit square pegs into round holes. His offenses are built around the type of athletes he has on hand, so you will see an attack that features the strengths of the personnel. He is a top flight quarterback tutor. One of Hatchette's most recent protégés is the starting signal caller at Ole Miss.

Coach Hatch is doing a lot of detailed teaching during voluntary team activities as the squad prepares for Spring Practice in May. It is clear that his pupils are fully engaged.

JERRY PHILLIPS, Varsity Secondary

New varsity secondary coach Jerry Phillips brings 12 years of impressive training and coaching experience to his job as the man in charge of the Cub secondary. Last fall, Phillips served as the Defensive Coordinator at Village Christian in Sun Valley. He held the same post at La Verne Damien in 2016-2017. Phillips was a defensive coach at Crespi Carmelite in 2014-2015 and was the Defensive Coordinator at Palisades in 2013. Phillips did an initial tour of duty as the secondary coach at Crespi in 2011-2012.

Phillips earned the high honor of being selected as a USA Army All-American all star game coach in 2015. He began his football training business, Game Prep Academy Training, in 2008. Among the players he has trained are 2015 Loyola MVP Myles Bryant, who is currently a star defensive back at the University of Washington, and 2015 Cub All-American David Long ‘16, who will be entering the NFL draft in April after an All-Big 10 career at the University of Michigan. Phillips also trained USC defensive back Marvell Tell, a Crespi alumnus, who is expected to be a high NFL draft pick this Spring.

Phillips played collegiate football at Pittsburg State, and is a graduate of John Muir High School in Pasadena.

The Cubs will be big time ball hawks under Phillips’ direction.

GABE MARKS, Varsity Wide Receivers

After obtaining spectacular results from a highly gifted group of freshman wide receivers who helped lead the 2018 Loyola freshman team to the Mission League championship during a campaign in which the squad averaged 46 points per contest, Gabe Marks has been promoted to the varsity level to coach the wide receivers.

Marks has an unbelievable resume. He is the Pac-12 Conference’s all-time receptions leader. He caught 316 passes during his career at Washington State. He is also the Cougars’ all-time receiving TD leader (37) and all-time receiving yards (3,453 yards) leader.

Bottom line, Marks will teach the detailed nuances of the wide receiver positions, and the results will be special.

Before his brilliant career on the Palouse, Marks was a star wide receiver at Venice High School. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree at Pepperdine University.

ELIC MAHONE, Defensive Line

A graduate of USC where he played for Trojan football teams that won the 1990 Rose Bowl game and the 1994 Cotton Bowl, Elic Mahone brings extensive playing and coaching experience to his new position as a defensive line coach for the Cubs. After his graduation from USC with a degree in Public Policy/Urban Development, Mahone played defensive end for the NFL's Washington Redskins for three seasons.

Beginning in 2005, Mahone answered the call to coach the sport he loves. He has provided his defensive prowess to his alma mater, John Muir High School of Pasadena, Pasadena Maranatha, and most recently Village Christian. He has taught at many prominent football camps across the country and was a highly regarded coach in the well respected Pasadena Trojans youth football organization. He was recently selected to coach an elite 7-on-7 travel team that competes throughout the Southland region.

Mahone is a licensed appraiser who manages the Western region that conducts commercial valuations for Wells Fargo Bank. Married with two children, Coach El enjoys restoring his Craftsman-style Pasadena home and classic car in his spare time.
The Cubs' new D-line mentor is excited to coach Loyola's defensive line and said he is committed to helping bring back the glory days of Cub Football. No doubt, the players under Mahone's direction will bring the wood.