Pioneer Valley football coach John Beck.

Pioneer Valley has hired John Beck as its new varsity football coach, the Santa Maria Joint Unified School District announced Tuesday.

Beck was the head coach at Redlands Arrowhead Christian Academy until stepping down after the 2015 season. His most recent coaching stint was with Arroyo Grande in 2017 as the Eagles' defensive coordinator under head coach Mike Hartman.

Beck takes over for John Ruiz, who retired after last season. Ruiz led the Panthers to a 6-5 mark and a second-place finish in the Ocean League in 2018.

“I am truly blessed to have been offered this position,’’ Beck said, according to a press release from the district. Beck will also teach at Pioneer Valley.

“The administration, the staff and myself will work tirelessly to ensure that we create a program that everyone in the community will be proud to support for many years to come," Beck added, according to the district's release.

Beck led Arrowhead Christian Academy to the 2014 CIF Southern Section Northwest Division championship game, where his team lost to Nipomo. Beck spent seven seasons as the Eagles' head coach in Redlands, going 3-7 in 2015, his final season with ACA. 

Overall, Beck went 31-44 at Arrowhead Christian with two playoff appearances.

Beck is a native of Bishop, graduating from Bishop Union High School located near the California-Nevada border.

Pioneer Valley made the postseason last year, the Panthers' first in the newly-formed Ocean League and the CIF Central Section. The Panthers were eliminated by eventual semifinalist Bakersfield Stockdale 45-24 in the first round of the CIF-CS Division 2 playoffs. 

“We are excited to have coach Beck here,’’ Pioneer Valley athletic director Jeff Monteiro said in the district's statement. “Our goal is for John to help Pioneer Valley football return to being a consistent competitor in the CCAA league. John was the best fit for our school; he has already met with and started to work with our current returning coaches.

"The administration had a great plan for the process for searching and screening a new football coach, which has enabled John to establish relationships with our team and staff. We hope this will give us an advantage heading into the new season. We look forward to John Beck leading the Pioneer Valley football program.”

Beck is a graduate of Cal State San Bernardino.

Joe Bailey is the sports editor at Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Contact him with tips and story ideas at or (805) 739-2239. Follow him on Twitter at


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