It’s been nearly three decades since Joe Germaine donned a Mountain View football Jersey.
The last time he did, he was a senior quarterback for the Toros and led them to the 1993 state championship. Germaine went on to star at Ohio State, winning the 1997 Rose Bowl with the Buckeyes, and was drafted into the NFL.
But now, several years later, Germaine is once again sporting the school’s iconic “MV” logo. This time, it’s as head coach.
“It feels great, I feel honored to be here,” Germaine said. “This is home for me. I played for Jesse Parker, one of the great legends of coaching who made a great impact on my life. So to come back and be a part of what I grew up doing, it means a lot.”
The logo, which has the letters ‘M’ and ‘V’ intertwined with the horns of a Toro, is more than just that to Mountain View faithful. For many, it represents the rich history of the school since its opening in 1997. To the football program, it represents its seven state championships — five of which by former coach Jesse Parker, who the football field at Mountain View was named after in 2016, one year before Parker died.
For Germaine, the logo represents several things, including his childhood. He grew up just down the street from Mountain View and watched the program and city grow over the years. He played under Parker and helped capture his former coach’s fourth and final state title while leading the Mountain View program. Those championships also cemented Mountain View’s legacy as one of the most dominant programs in the state in the 1990s.
“There is a football tradition here at Mountain View that is as rich as any program in the state,” Germaine said. “We are all fortunate to be a part of it. We aren’t going to measure our success on programs in the past. We are going to be who we are.”
Germaine was hired in April after Mountain View parted ways with former coach Mike Fell. In Four seasons as head coach, Fell led the Toros to a 29-23 overall record and made three playoff appearances.
Germaine’s career as a coach took off when he was hired at Queen Creek. He coached the Bulldogs to the 4A state championship in 2012. He stepped down to offensive coordinator shortly after and let Travis Schureman take over. But in 2019, Germaine again took over as head coach after Schureman stepped down to an assistant position.
The Bulldogs went 15-7 in the 6A Conference with Germaine in his second stint as head coach. Schureman was promoted to once again take over Queen Creek after Germaine’s departure.
Upon meeting the Mountain View players for the first time, he asked what the logo meant to them.
“When I see that logo, it causes an emotion inside of me,” Germaine said. “It was great to hear all of their responses. It’s important to them.”
Germaine has taken all of Mountain View’s quarterbacks under his wing this season, including returning starter and soon-to-be senior Willy Roberts.
Roberts shared time at quarterback as a sophomore before emerging as the starter last season. He led the Toros to a 6-0 record before he suffered a broken collarbone.
Now a senior, he aims to pick up where he left off with his injury. And with Germaine — a former quarterback at the highest level — now leading the charge, he has seen improvement in his overall ability under center.
“He’s helping me be the best quarterback I can be,” Roberts said. “We are working really hard right now. (Germaine) demands us to do the right thing in and outside of football. It’s nice to have someone who has won state championships here and who has won Rose Bowls. He knows how to win, and he can help us win, too.”
Roberts is one of several returning starters for Mountain View this upcoming season. On offense, junior tight end Jackson Bowers will provide a weapon for Roberts on the outside. At 6-foot-5, Bowers has already received several Division I offers, including from Arizona State, Arizona, Utah, Michigan State and Georgia Tech.
But where Mountain View will likely thrive next season is on its defense. Malaki Ta’ase, who emerged as one of the state’s top defensive ends last season, returns for his senior year. Suliasi Uasike, who helped Ta’ase wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines, also returns.
As a whole, Mountain View’s defense combined for 41 sacks in last year’s shortened season. And despite finishing 6-2, they missed the playoffs. Uasike said they’ve entered the offseason hungrier for success than in year’s past.
“We have a chip on our shoulder,” Uasike said. “We feel like we should’ve been in the playoffs last year but as our coaches say, we have to be forgetful and move on. No excuses. We have to put everything out there and leave no regrets.”
Mountain View recently began its summer program, lifting weights at the school and practicing at nearby Stapley Junior High while a new turf practice and game field is installed at the high school. A new video board will also be installed at Jesse Parker Field.
The renovations have brought excitement to the program and surrounding community. But with that, also comes high expectations. For now, Germaine remains focused on continuing to build chemistry with his new players.
“We are learning new systems on all three phases of the game, so ther is a big learning curve right now,” Germaine said. “I think our mindset right now is to just get accustomed to the new way we are doing things. I thought our spring was very productive and I hope we can continue to draw our team closer together.
“That will be an important factor this summer.”