Coach Lou Biaz shares important life lessons with his athletes through football

For Biaz, respect and hard work are the fundamentals of an athlete


Lou Biaz, American River College assistant football coach, uses football to share essential values that can be both helpful for athletes’ careers and outside of the field. (Photo by Carla Montaruli)

Lou Biaz coaches young athletes at American River College, keeping in mind the same values he shares in his household with his family by pushing athletes to reach their best potential to get to the next level. 

“I expect my athletes to be disciplined, hardworking, loyal, honest and truthful with each other like they would treat their family,” Biaz said. 

Biaz’s passion for coaching started by following in his father’s footsteps, which brought him to grow up in a locker room from a young age. What also helped his knowledge as a coach: he was a football player himself at Sacramento State.

Biaz started his journey at ARC after he finished his college football career and other various coaching experiences. 

“I was a graduate assistant coach at San Diego State for three seasons and I came back to Sacramento, where I coached Sacramento State for 17 seasons and Folsom High School for two,” Biaz said. “In 2014, I came on board at American River College with Coach [Jon] Osterhout.”

Biaz’s official title is the football assistant coach, but he also helps in several areas inside and outside the field, including conditioning, stretching, fundraising and academics.   

“I try to do my best and help as much as possible to take it off our head coach’s plate,” Biaz said. 

Biaz is also ARC’s assistant athletic director, where he helps supervise some of the athlete’s guidance as well as helps with eligibility for athletes to make sure they take enough units to be able to play completely during the season.

One of Biaz’s goals as a coach is to help young guys develop as men and athletes, trying to reach the next level. With his and the ARC coaching staff’s passion for this sport, they built a program that can provide resources for student-athletes. 

Players in the team, such as Quincy Gallon, say they recognize trust and belonging to a family as fundamental values of the program and Biaz’s teaching. 

“I personally have been fortunate enough to build a personal connection with Coach Biaz and Coach O, they show us how to handle different ventures in life, whether that’s finding a job, or getting through a hard relationship with a family member or partner,” Gallon said. “They always have our back and are able to give advice that we will carry into the rest of our life, not just football.”

Biaz says he strives for success trying to give the best for these athletes. His hard work combined with the athletes’ willingness gives great results for the ARC program. 

After a successful previous season, where the team made it to the Northern California Championship and won the Conference title, it’s time for coach Biaz to focus on the next season. 

“This is a new cycle, I am very excited about the roster we have,” Biaz said. “The guys are working hard and we’re trying to prepare them to be ready for spring ball, summer conditioning and then into training camp.”

He says it is important that players feel comfortable sharing their opinion and that they trust the process that the ARC coaching staff will encourage and promote in order to get to the next level. 

According to Gallon, Biaz does a really good job of implementing ways in which brotherhood can grow between players and coaches. 

“I am grateful for it because of the lifelong friends I’ve met through this program,” Gallon said. “On the field, while playing when the whole world turned against you, you look over to your right and the left and it’s your brother there next to you, that’s an amazing feeling.”

A fundamental aspect of this game for Biaz is making the players feel safe and surrounded by people they can trust, playing a hard and dangerous sport even outside the field. 

“They should feel comfortable talking to me about anything, whether it’s personal or private or something,” Biaz said. “We’re running the football in the way that we can build a trust factor as a fundamental of the program.”

For Biaz it is really important the bond that he shares with the coaching staff. The way in which they have the same goals and shareable values is fundamental for the program in order to have a solid base. 

“We have an outstanding bond, some of us [have known] each other for ten or more years,” Biaz said. “It is important for the students to look at us as a united team of mentors that share the same ideals.”

Biaz’s meticulous personality and dedication to this sport brought him to win an award for assistant coach of the year from the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame, during an event on March 5. 

“I don’t know exactly what brought me to win the award, although I think 31 years of experience with football and young athletes were helpful,” Biaz said.