Gifford Lindheim was named the eighth head coach in the now 73-year history (as of 2019) of the El Camino College football program on June 27, 2016.
He enters his fourth year at the helm in 2019. In three years at ECC, Lindheim has led the Warriors to a 18-14 overall record.
In 2018, the Warriors posted an 8-3 record including a 5-0 record in conference to claim the program’s first league title since 2008 and first outright conference crown since 2005. The team drew the No. 3 seed in the SCFA Southern California Playoffs, the program’s first final four appearance since the 2011 season. but the team posted its first winning season in 2017 since 2011 when they went 8-3. A total of 21 players from that team would go on to transfer to the next level including six players to the NCAA Division I level and three to “Power 5” conferences.
In 2017, Lindheim led the Warriors to their first winning season since 2011 along with ECC’s first bowl game in seven years in just his second season at the helm. The Warriors defeated Palomar in the Beach Bowl, earning the program’s first bowl victory since 2009. The team also broke a number of program records in 2017: Most Points in a Single Game (74), Scoring Average/Season (44.5), Average Passing Yards per Game (337.0), Average Total Offense per Game (507.0), Most Passing Yards in a Season (3,709) and Most Touchdowns in a Season (66).
He also coached Stephon Robinson in 2017, who set the new single season receiving yards record with 1,274 receiving yards in his lone season at ECC before transferring to the University of Kansas to play for the Jayhawks.
Under Lindheim, the Warriors have sent 53 players to the next level including 23 NCAA Division I programs and seven to “Power 5” conference teams. There have also been 42 players who have earned academic honors. In 2016, seven players were named to the Southern California Football Association All-Academic Team. That number jumped to 10 players in 2017 with seven more players getting the honors in 2018. Overall, Lindheim has had 32 players named SCFA Scholar Athletes with 24 of them coming during his time at ECC. Lindheim's current head coaching record stands at 68-38 in nine seasons.
Lindheim brought more than two decades of coaching experience at different levels, boasting a 50-24 record as head coach in seven seasons at Santa Monica College prior to becoming the head coach of the Warriors. He has coached a number of NFL players, including names such as Steve Smith and Brandon Marshall.
Most recently, he served as head coach at Santa Monica College beginning in 2009, turning the struggling program around and leading the Corsairs to five consecutive American Pacific Championships, a 34-conference game win streak and an undefeated season in 2015. To add to his five conference titles. He was named the Pacific Conference Coach of the Year five times while at SMC.
He began his coaching career in 1995 at University High School, serving as quarterbacks, running backs, and defensive line coach for two seasons (1995-97), before moving to the NCAA Division III level at Whittier College. Lindheim spent four seasons with the Poets, holding multiple positions including defensive line coach, special teams’ coordinator, and recruiting coordinator.
His next stop was at Venice High School for four seasons as defensive coordinator, where he helped to develop 15 Division I student-athletes, while the team earned three consecutive undefeated conference championships.
Lindheim spent one season at West Los Angeles College in 2006 as outside linebackers coach and special teams’ coordinator before accepting a position at the University of Nevada as graduate assistant. He served as a pass rush specialist, working with the Wolf Pack defensive line and linebacker corps.
He served as the defensive coordinator at ECC during the 2008 season before taking the head coaching job at Santa Monica College in 2009.
Graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in kinesiology from San Francisco State in 1995, Lindheim was a starting running back for the Gators. He was named team captain and earned three letters, receiving the Coaches Award and Val Sakovich Career Award.
Published six times in magazines and manuals, he also has two master’s degrees in education and higher administration in education from Whittier College (1998) and the University of Nevada (2009), respectively.
GIFFORD LINHEIM COACHING RECORD AND CAREER
JC Regional Coach of the Year Awards: 2 (Last: 2015)
SCFA Coach of the Year Awards: 6 (Last: 2018)
Conference Championships: 6 (Last: 2018)
JC All-Americans: 4 (2 Defensive, 2 Offensive - Last: Emerald Faletuipapai, 2016)
All-State/Region Players of the Year: 2 (1 Offensive, 1 Defensive - Last: Troy Williams, 2015)
All-State Selections: 29 (17 Offensive, 12 Defensive)
Conference Players of the Year: 4 (2 Offensive, 2 Defensive - Last: Troy Williams (OPOY) and Max Lyons (DPOY), 2015)
All-Conference Selections: 119 [69 First Team (37 Offensive, 32 Defensive); 50 Second Team (21 Offensive, 29 Defensive)]
SCFA All-Academic Team Selections: 32
NCAA Transfers (El Camino College Numbers Only): 53 (21 NCAA Division I)
Career Head Coaching Record (Nine Seasons): 68-38 (48-14)
ECC Head Coaching Record (Three Seasons): 18-14 (9-6)
|Year||School||Record (Conference)||Conference Standing||Postseason Result|
|2018||El Camino College||8-2 (5-0) #||National Central League Champions||SCFA Regional Playoffs, 1st Round|
|2017||El Camino College||6-5 (2-3)||National Central League, 4th Place||Beach Bowl Champions|
|2016||El Camino College||4-6 (2-3)||National Central League, 4th Place||N/A|
|2015||Santa Monica College||11-0 (7-0) #&||American Pacific League Champions||American Division Bowl Champions|
|2014||Santa Monica College||7-4 (7-0) #||American Pacific League Champions||Amercian Division Bowl Runner-Up|
|2013||Santa Monica College||8-2 (7-0) #||American Pacific League Champions||N/A|
|2012||Santa Monica College||9-2 (7-0) #||American Pacific League Champions||N/A|
|2011||Santa Monica College||8-3 (6-0) #$||American Pacific League Champions||American Division Bowl Runner-Up|
|2010||Santa Monica College||4-6 (2-4)||American Pacific League, 6th Place||N/A|
|2009||Santa Monica College||3-7 (3-4)||American Pacific League, 4th Place||N/A|
# - SCFA Coach of the Year
$ - JC All-California Region VI Coach of the Year
& - JC All-California Region IV Coach of the Year
ALL-CONFERENCE SELECTION BREAKDOWN; BY YEARS (119)
2018: 10 Total; Five First Team (2 Off. – 3 Def.) – Five Second Team (2 Off. – 3 Def.)
2017: 14 Total; Six First Team (2 Off. – 4 Def.) – Eight Second Team (5 Off. – 3 Def.)
2016: 11 Total; Four First Team (3 Off. – 1 Def.) – Seven Second Team (2 Off. – 5 Def.)
2015: 18 Total; 15 First Team (7 Off. – 6 Def. – OPOY/DPOY) – 3 Second Team (1 Off. – 2 Def.)
2014: 15 Total; Seven First Team (4 Off. – 3 Def.) – Eight Second Team (4 Off. – 4 Def.)
2013: 12 Total; Eight First Team (4 Off. – 4 Def.) – Four Second team (1 Off. – 3 Def.)
2012: 16 Total; 13 First Team (7 Off. – 4 Def. – OPOY/DPOY) – 3 Second Team (1 Off. – 2 Def.)
2011: 11 Total; Seven First Team (5 Off. – 2 Def.) – Four Second Team (2 Off. – 2 Def.)
2010: 8 Total; Three First Team (1 Off. – 2 Def.) – Five Second Team (2 Off. – 3 Def.)
2009: 4 Total; One First Team (Defensive) – Three Second Team (1 Off. – 2 Def.)
ALL-STATE/REGION SELECTION BREAKDOWN; BY YEARS (29)
2018: Two All-Region (1 Off. – 1 Def.)
2017: One All-Region (Offensive)
2016: One All-Region (Offensive)
2015: Six All-Region (4 Off. – 2 Def.); All-Region Offensive Player of the Year (Troy Williams)
2014: Four All-Region (1 Off. – 3 Def.)
2013: Four All-Region (2 Off. – 2 Def.)
2012: Five All-Region (3 Off. – 2 Def.); All-Region Defensive Player of the Year (Qujuan Floyd)
2011: Five All-Region (4 Off. – 1 Def.)
2009: One All-Region (Defensive)
SCFA ALL ACADEMIC SELECTIONS, BY YEAR (32)
JC ALL-AMERICANS (4)
2016: Emerald Faletuipapai (ECC); Offensive Lineman
2014: Jayshawn Lowe (Santa Monica): Defensive Back
2013: Dontae Livingston (Santa Monica): Offensive Lineman
2012: Qujuan Floyd (Santa Monica): Defensive Back
ALL STATE/REGION PLAYERS OF THE YEAR (2)
2015: Troy Williams (Santa Monica); Quarterback
2012: Qujuan Floyd (Santa Monica); Defensive Back
ALL STATE/REGION COACH OF THE YEAR AWARDS (2)
2015 All-California Region IV Coach of the Year
2011 All-California Region VI Coach of the Year