Football - 1998
Football coach Joel Gershon won his first 100 varsity games quicker than any other coach in Ventura County history. At Oxnard’s Channel Islands High School, he was the county’s third-winningest football coach ever--127 victories--when he retired in 1996. Between 1976 and 1988, his teams won six league championships.
Gershon coached varsity football for 22 years at Channel Islands High, and thirteen of his teams made the CIF-Southern Sectional playoffs. CI reached the CIF semi-finals three times, and made one visit to the CIF championship game.
In 1976, just two years after taking over the school’s varsity football program, Channel Islands won the Frontier League for the first time in its history. The following season, CI tied for the Frontier League title. The achievement resulted in the team being moved-up to the big school Marmonte League, where Channel Island promptly captured the 1978 League title. Twenty of Joel’s players were named to All-CIF teams, four participated in the annual Shrine All Star Game, and more than 40% of his high school players went on to play football at a four-year college/university.
During his initial years at Channel Islands, Joel was freshman and JV football coach, a varsity football assistant, and assistant baseball coach. He was named varsity football coach in 1974.
Chicago-born and West Los Angeles-raised (McManus Park area of Culver City), Joel played football, basketball and baseball at Hamilton High, and three years of baseball at UCLA.