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Mater Dei High School is a private, Catholic, co-educational secondary school in Santa Ana, Californiamarker. It is located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange. With an enrollment of 2,300 students (2006) Mater Dei High School is one of the largest Catholic high schools in the United Statesmarker. Mater Dei High School is known for its highly successful athletic programs, especially boys basketball and football. In 2008 Sports Illustrated rated Mater Dei High School second on its “Best High School Athletic Programs” list.

History

The first graduating class received diplomas in June, 1953. During the next few years, the school added a band, a C.S.F. charter, more buildings, and a chapel.

In 1960, the school looked back on the first ten years that added thirteen-hundred students and a waiting list for more. Mater Dei added its theatre arts department in the 1970s and performed its first senior musical. Enrollment hit 2,150, making Mater Dei the largest Catholic high school west of Chicagomarker.

The Little Theater is home to the school's performing arts program.


During the 1980s, Mater Dei broadened its curriculum, including technology.

The Mater Dei 2008 Capital Campaign has funded the construction of Phase I (Fall 1999 – Fall 2002): a student parking lot, the Gordon & Gail Lee Family Chapel and Campus Ministry Center, the Antone & Anna Borchard Family Library, the Reed & Angela LeVecke Student Activities Complex, the Shamrock Student Plaza, the Josef D'Heygers Academic Services Center, including the Muth Family Learning Center, and the Ward Family Multi-Media Center. Phase III will include a state-of-the-art Performing Arts Complex.

In order to meet the demands of Mater Dei's ever growing athletic program, the school constructed a new Athletic & Aquatics Complex. The new Athletics & Aquatics Complex houses a three-court, 3,000 seat gymnasium; the Monarch Hall of Fame; a wrestling room; a 10-lane, 25-meter swimming pool; a training/rehabilitation center; weight training/conditioning center; locker rooms; equipment rooms and offices for the dedicated coaching staff.

In addition, all fields are being upgraded to FieldTurf. Construction on "Rick's Track" took place this spring and construction on the lower level football and soccer FieldTurf is also complete. Construction of The Rod Dedeaux Baseball Complex at Joe O'Hara Field wrapped up in the spring of 2005.

In the wake of the current economic recession, Mater Dei's enrollment has taken a considerable dive, with 80 fewer freshmen applicants than in previous years. Due to this and other economic reasons, Mater Dei was forced to lay off some beloved employees in the spring of 2009. Included in these layoffs was the assistant librarian and dear friend of many of the students, Mr. Michael Zmudzinski.

Statistics

Category Stats
Religious background: 86% Catholic; 14% represent a variety of other faiths
Cultural background: 50% White; 2% Black; 19% Latino; 12% Asian(mostly Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean Catholics); 2%Pacific Islander; 1% Native American
Academic: 60% of student body attended Catholic elementary school; 18% attended private school
14 AP and 17 Honors classes; 40% enrolled in AP or Honors classes
98% continue on to college; 2% go on to work or military; 85% qualify for a four-year college
2004 SAT scores: 89% took the SAT; 533 average verbal, 541 average math
Up to 30% receive a total of $750,000 annually in need-based tuition assistance


Athletics

Mater Dei's sports programs are some of the most successful in the nation.



Basketball

The Boys' Basketball team, coached by Gary McKnight since 1982, has won 19 CIF Southern Section championships and CIF State Titles in 1987, 1990, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2007, and 2008.

Football

Except for a down cycle in the early 1980s, the Mater Dei football program has been among California's elite programs since the 1950s. Under coach Dick Coury, Mater Dei won CIF championships in 1956, 1957, 1960, and 1965. The 1960 Monarchs were led by John Huarte, who would later win the 1964 Heisman trophy while at Notre Damemarker. Under current coach Bruce Rollinson, who took over head coaching duties in 1989, Mater Dei has won CIF championships in 1991, 1994, 1996, 1998 and 1999. The team also won National Championships in 1994 and 1996. Coach Rollinson was named “Coach of the Year” by USA Today in 1994 and 1996, making him only the second California high school football coach to be so honored (the other is Bob Ladouceur of De La Salle High Schoolmarker).

Mater Dei is one of two high schools in the nation with two Heisman-trophy winning alumni: John Huarte '61 (1964 Heisman Trophy winner), and Matt Leinart '01 (2004 Heisman Trophy winner). The other is Woodrow Wilson High Schoolmarker in Dallas, Texasmarker, with Davey O'Brien and Tim Brown. Mater Dei also had another Heisman Trophy nominee, Colt Brennan, who is currently a backup quarterback for the Washington Redskins.

Quarterback, Matt Barkley (class of 2009), is the first junior honored as the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year. He was also named Gatorade’s national male athlete of the year. Barkley is also the first True Freshman to start at QB for USC.

Cross-country

Mater Dei alumnus Rick Martinez, Class of 1983, is the head coach of the Cross Country Team. Melissa Jacobson, Rebecca Shaefer, and Brian McNamara (Class of 2001) are the assistant coaches. The monarchs run in the Trinity League, with it's home course being Huntington Beach Central Park. The varsity boy's team went to the state meet in 2007.

Water polo

The Boys Water polo team recently won the 2008 CIF championships against rival Servite. It was the team's first CIF championship.

Notable alumni



David Jensen- 2006 Alum, left handed pitcher and Communications Major, Northwestern UniversityChristopher Michael Freeman- Five star tennis recruit currently playing for Wisconsin.

References

  1. Top 25 athletic programs for 2007-08 - More Sports - SI.com
  2. Article - Football: Barkley is Gatorade athlete of the year


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