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Football: Our Coaching Staff

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Ben Noonan, Head Coach, Quarterbacks 

Coach Noonan earned his M.S. in Kinesiology in 2004 from Texas A&M University of Kingsville, Texas and his B.A. in English in 2000 from Bemidji State University in Minnesota. He began his career in higher education at Santa Rosa Junior College, where he earned his AA in 1998. Ben’s coaching experience is impressive—at age 26 he was offensive coordinator at West Texas A&M (NCAA Div. II) for a football team ranked #10 in the nation. His offense set several school records during his tenure there.

After two years at West Texas he left for Baylor University (NCAA Div. I), where as a graduate assistant he served as the Quarterbacks coach; he moved to Alabama State University (NCAA Div. IAA) following that to serve as their Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks coach for one year.

From 2009-2012 he served as Assistant Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Physical Education Instructor at Citrus College. During his four years as the offensive coordinator there, Noonan’s quarterbacks set school records for yards, completions and touchdowns.

For the second time in his first three years at the helm, Noonan guided Sierra College to a bowl berth as the 2015 season saw Sierra College victorious over host Fresno City College in the State Center Bowl. The Bowl victory marks the first win in the post season since 2008. Sierra players garnered several awards including 6 All-Conference, 4 All-State, and 2 All-American selections.

Under his direction in 2013, Sierra’s football team enjoyed its first winning season since 2009, earning a bowl berth in the San Francisco Community College Bowl. Sierra players garnered several awards including 10 All-Conference, 4 All-Region, and 3 All-State selections. Sierra Football also produced during its 2013 season the Valley Conference Defensive Most Valuable Player. Ninty percent of Wolverine Football sophomores last year will transfer to 4-year universities, and under Ben’s leadership Sierra’s football student athletes have been involved in several community service projects.

Coach Noonan is as passionate and competitive about his students’ academics as he is about their performance as athletes. He has vowed to increase both his team’s GPA and the team transfer rate each year, and cites “academic excellence” at the top of his list of objectives he seeks to instill in his students and student athletes.

Coach Ben Noonan G 200 Rocklin
(916) 660-8121

Jim Gray, Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Backs

Jim Gray enters his fifth season since joining Ben Noonan's staff in 2013, and will be entering his second season as the defensive coordinator for the Wolverines. He became part of the Sierra College program after 28 years of football coaching experience at multiple levels. Gray played football, track, basketball and baseball at Douglas High School in Rapid City, SD. After graduating in 1980, he played for four years at South Dakota St. and, in 1985, tried out for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and the USFL’s Arizona Wranglers. A Supervising Probation Officer for Sacramento County (1986-present), Gray has coached at Yuba College (1986-87), Del Campo HS (1987-90), Bella Vista HS (1990-95), the Placer HS Jr. Hillmen (1997-2006), and Placer HS (2006-13). In 2013 at Sierra, Coach Gray coached the versatile Calvin Burns to the All-Valley Conference 1st team. Jim and Juli live in Auburn with children Michael, Conor, Ryan, Collin, Parker and Alex.

Coach Jim Gray

Daniel Diaz-Romero, Offensive Coordinator, Offensive Line

Sierra’s offense moves the ball, using a variety of sets designed to keep defenses guessing and on their heels. Mentoring the offensive line and coordinating the offense is Daniel Diaz-Romero, who enters his fifth year on Ben Noonan’s staff since joining in 2013. Diaz-Romero grew up in Half Moon Bay and played football at UC Davis in 2003, where he was named a top scholar athlete. He received his BS in Exercise Biology from Davis in 2007 and earned his math and physical education teaching credential at Sac St. in 2009. Diaz-Romero coached at Woodland HS (2005-08) and at NorCal powerhouse James Logan HS (2009-2012), where, in 2012, he was named the Logan Coach of the Year. In addition to his Sierra coaching duties, he is a math teacher at Center HS in Antelope.

Coach Dan Diaz

Ted Popson, Defensive Line Coach, Strength and Conditioning

Coach Popson is in his fourth year as the Sierra College Defensive Line Coach since joining Ben Noonan's staff in 2014. In addition to his duties with the Defensive Line, Coach "Pop" is the heart and soul of the Wolverine Strength and Conditioning program that has become known to produce scholarship athletes year after year. Ted attended Portland State and was drafted by the New York Giants in 1991. He played five seasons from 1994 to 1998 for the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers as a tight end. He had eight receiving touchdowns in his career and played in one Super Bowl in 1994 for the winning 49ers.

Coach Ted Popson

Skip Albano, Wide Receivers

Skip Albano enters his fourth season with the Wolverine staff. Albano was the Defensive Backs coach on Ben Noonan's staff in 2014. After a long stint as a Granite Bay assistant for Ernie Cooper's Grizzlies, Albano was named the Head Football Coach at Granite Bay in 2013.

After graduating from Del Campo High School, Albano attended American River College, Sierra College and Sacramento State, where he earned his BA. He received his MA from CSU Bakersfield. Coaching experience includes 18 years at Bishop Union HS, Woodcreek HS (1998-99), Granite Bay HS (2000-04, 2007, 2011, 2013), and Oakmont HS (2005-06). He coached internationally in Austria, Italy and Switzerland, leading the Austrian national team to the 2011 world championship.

Skip lives in Granite Bay with his wife Janet. They have two grown children, Chelsea and Chris.

Coach Skip Albano

Gerard Negrete, Running Backs

Coach "G" is in his second year with Coach Noonan's staff. He was a football coach at Bella Vista HS 2010-15, Rio Americano HS 2006-09 and Center HS 2002-05. He graduated from Piedmont Hills HS and attended San Jose City College 1976-77 and ITT Technical Institute 1996-2000. He is a Navy veteran and afterward obtained his BS degree in Electronics Engineering as valedictorian. He is also working at the State of California Department of Technology.

His family includes his wife Norma, grown son Christopher and his wife Megan, grand-daughter and daughter Nicole.

Coach Gerard Negrete

Mike Davis, Assistant Running Backs

Coach Mike Davis

These are the official Sierra College Athletics web pages providing information about our programs, coaches and student-athletes. Any other web pages or sites on the internet or linked to from our pages containing information about Sierra College Athletics are not sanctioned by Sierra College and therefore may contain inaccurate information. We also have an official Sierra College Sports presence on Facebook and Twitter. Some sports or coaches may have their own unofficial social media presence.


Ben Noonan Head Football Coach

  • G 200C
  • 5100 Sierra College Blvd.
    Rocklin, CA 95677

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