Less than a year ago, Joseph Maiale got married, started a new job and took over the Canyon High School football team. With so many transitions at one time, it’s safe to say this new cowboy is a trailblazer.
“It’s been amazing – I’ve loved every second at Canyon,” said the 38-year-old Maiale, who joined the special education staff at the school last semester when he also began working with the football team. “They are both, in many ways, full-time jobs. But it doesn’t feel like work. I spend a lot of time here at Canyon – I like teaching and coaching is a pleasure on top of that.”
Just last month he moved to Santa Clarita from Oxnard, where he coached a successful football program. He joined them during a rebuilding phase, which he’s also been a part of at other schools.
“I’ve worked on several staffs – St. Genevieve, Harvard-Westlake – it’s something I have experience with and the process is really fun,” said the coach, who may apply similar rebuilding strategies at Canyon, which he describes as having “a couple of rough years.”
Maiale’s strategy? Consistency.
“Do we do the little things right? Do we do them all the time?” he posed. “Consistency is good in whatever we do. The lessons are consistency and effort.”
Maiale grew up in Reseda and played football at Cleveland High School and Pierce College. He then joined the football team at Menlo College in Northern California.
He’s been coaching about 15 years, but changed careers a few years ago when he left a job in sales to become a special education teacher. He also worked as a substitute teacher.
“I’m used to transitions,” he said, “but I’m looking forward to staying here.”
So, while a lot has changed in the new coach’s life, he’s no maverick on the field. He just believes everyone is the sum of their experiences.
“I’m new here. I bring my experience working at different schools,” he explained. “I have some success and some experience helping programs rebuild. And I’ve been where the facilities are not this good and there’s not this much support.”
Canyon High School football is a Maiale family experience. Maiale’s brother George was on the Cowboys coaching staff last year and continues as a defensive coordinator, while Joe’s specialty is offensive coordinating and line coaching.
“I’ve been fortunate to coach as long as I have,” Coach Joe Maiale said. “I’ve pretty much coached every position on the field.”
Joe and George’s parents, who still live in Reseda, attend the games along with other family members. Their father coached them through Pop Warner and Little League and now enjoys watching from the stands.
“I’ve been around a lot of really successful coaching,” Coach Maiale said when asked about his style. “We’re teachers. Are we teaching the kids the right way?”
The new Cowboys coach hopes to improve the program, of course, but he also wants to foster a positive family atmosphere, inviting the community to attend games.
“I want them to come out and be a part of it. We want it to be a family … we want you at the games,” he said. “We welcome Canyon alumni to be part of something special. It brings up the school and the culture.”
And so far, so good.
“Everyone is very supportive,” he said. “Everyone’s been so kind and welcoming. I’ve had the time of my life.”