Hector Valencia

Burbank High varsity head football coach Hector Valencia, shown here in 2009, is stepping down after five years with the Bulldogs. Valencia posted a 37-20 record, while his team won a Pacific League title in 2009. (Raul Roa/File Art)

Citing a desire to spend more time with his two young children, Hector Valencia stepped down as head football coach at Burbank High Friday afternoon.

Valencia, 39, who guided the Bulldogs program for five years, said he met with his team Friday to tell them about his decision.

“It was something that I had been thinking about for about a year or so,” said Valencia, who has children who are 5 and 7. “And it all has to do with family. As a head football coach you work just so many hours, it just doesn’t leave enough time for the family and the kids.

“I coach them in soccer and baseball and T-ball and I was just missing so many of their activities and just missing time being with them. I just didn’t want to look back one day and be the father who didn’t have time for his children.”

Hired in March of 2009, the 1993 Burbank graduate was a former football player and track and field athlete for the Bulldogs. Along with his head coaching duties, Valencia was also a junior varsity football and track and field coach at the school for nine years.

“I love Burbank High and I’ve spent a good portion of my life here,” he said. “It was a hard decision.”

In his final season navigating the Bulldogs, Valencia’s squad turned in arguably its best in his tenure.

Burbank finished 10-3 after a 5-2 Pacific League finish that tied it for second place. The Bulldogs then marched to the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division semifinals – the program’s first semifinal ascent since 1927.

In 2009, the Bulldogs won the Pacific League title, the program’s first league championship in 37 years.

Overall, in his five seasons at the helm, Valencia finished with a 37-20 record and a 25-10 mark in the Pacific League. Additionally, the Bulldogs advanced to the playoffs four out of his five seasons, compiling a 3-3 record in the postseason.

As for the “Big Game” against archrival Burroughs, Valencia’s squads went 3-2 and are riding a two-game rivalry winning streak.

“I’m really happy with the way the program has gone in the years since we took over,” Valencia said. “On our three levels last season, varsity, JV and freshman, our teams went 30-3 as a whole. We have developed strong teams and the program has continued to grow. We have donee some good things.”

Valencia said although he has stepped down, he still plans on remaining with the football program as an assistant.

“I just want to show the kids that you should mean what you preach and, for now, my main obligation is to my family and my kids.”