Meet Foothill Historian Pat Carlotti

 

Pat and I at Connie Preston's retirement party
Pat and I at Connie Preston’s retirement party

Some are not aware that Pat Carlotti recently became the second most tenured teacher at FHS.  In the last two years,  FHS has lost such loyal dedicated “old-timers” as Teresa Hutson, Connie Preston, Pat Power, Carolyn Antongiovanni, and Jan Graves….thus leaving only Laura Ghilarducci with more teaching years than Pat.

As a history teacher with a long career at FHS, it would seem very logical Pat would be the most qualified person to undertake the enormous challenge of preserving and archiving our Trojan history and athletic legacy. So just who is this man who stepped up to the plate, and why was he willing to take on this difficult assignment??

Pat graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in Orcutt, California where he excelled as a lineman in football and weightman on the track team.  He continued both sports while attending Alan Hancock College in Santa Maria. He then attended Cal Poly SLO before graduating from Cal State Bakersfield.

Coach Carlotti and his FHS weightmen
Coach Carlotti and his FHS weightmen

His first teaching assignment was at West High, where he taught history and also coached football and track during his 4-year stay. He came to FHS in 1993, and now starts his 26th year on campus.  While best known as a history teacher, Pat also has taught driver’s education and physical education classes. During this time, Pat was also a fine football line coach at all 3 levels (Frosh, JV & Varsity), and an excellent weightman coach in track.  While his throwers had great marks in the shot put and discus, Pat is quick to point out they were also a respected and feared team in the much-anticipated weightman’s relay that concluded each meet.

Coach Carlotti's linemen at a legendary "Hogfeast"
Coach Carlotti’s linemen at a legendary “Hogfeast”

Coach Carlotti also took care of his Hogs (linemen) on and off the field.  Some of his after practice “Hogfeasts” are legendary in terms of food variety, quantity and individual consumption! (Photo# 3 of linemen here)

Pat is now the only coach on campus who can recall the “old days” when veteran coaches filled the P.E. Office and coached multiple sports. He was asked to reminisce and try to recall what he remembers most fondly from his early coaching days. Here are some condensed glimpses of his most vivid recollections:

  • The jokes, fun and camaraderie that took place on the practice field, office and locker room.
  • The excitement of Friday game day when you could also go to the P.E. office and get a slice of Fontana pie, while placing a wager in the college football pool.
  • The excitement of a great rally, followed by the anticipation of a fine pre-game meal.
  • Viewing the gym bulletin board with photos, clippings and information about this week’s opponent, as well as statistics and photos from last week’s game.
  • Players on campus selling The Trojan Football News that featured photos, write-ups, trivia questions and staff features (for all 3 teams).

    Full house crowd cheering for the Trojans
    Full house crowd cheering for the Trojans
  • The great team posters which were displayed all over town.
  • Playing in front of huge crowds enabled by playing top teams.
  • The FHS-BHS rivalry.
  • The Pigskin Classic.Going to face D-1 teams in the playoffs.
  • The Awards Night, McLemore presentation, followed by a return to the weight room to prepare for next season.

I think most of the old coaches would agree with Pat’s assessment, and hope our current staff is able to create similar enjoyable memories at FHS.

The EPIC Village People performers
The EPIC Village People performers

Beyond teaching and coaching, Pat has always been involved in numerous rallies and school events.  His most memorable rally was playing the construction man in the “Village People YMCA” epic production. That iconic rally will remain gold standard for all future FHS rallies akin to how “Gone With The Wind” is viewed by the movie industry.  Pat also recreated the vintage 1985 Kiss a Pig contest….complete with pigs and teacher Pigmate Calendar.  He is also proud of the fact he is a member of the History Staff’s Air Band which has won the Foothill contest 8 years in a row!

Hall of Fame trophies, photos and memorabilia displayed on campus
Hall of Fame trophies, photos and memorabilia displayed on campus

Pat has had an active role in the Hall of Fame fundraisers, induction ceremonies, and athletic medallion presentations on campus.  He’s also played a major role in bringing the Hall of Fame trophies, photos, and memorabilia on campus for student viewing.

Pat now has a History Class and an Archiving Club on campus, which is learning the different aspects of obtaining, recording and preserving the varied materials involved in archiving.  They have learned how to best present photos and clippings inside the school display cases to create interest and educate students about Foothill’s great history.

Students interview Teresa Hutson for oral archives
Students interview Teresa Hutson for oral archives

Their greatest achievement has been learning how conduct oral video interviews. They have been able to capture over 35 interviews of original staff members and great athletes. What a treasure it is to have original staff members share all their stories and memories of opening FHS. You now are able to view over 20 such interviews posted on their Youtube web site. To view, go to YouTube and type in Archiving Class. Tap on the Trojan logo and select the interview you wish.

Pat shows off students' work in FHS display case
Pat shows off students’ work in FHS display case

The students also have had field trips to BHS, CSUB and the Kern County Museum where they have been able to view, and learn even more advanced methods of archiving.

FHS students learn techniques from CSUB archivist, Chris Livingston
FHS students learn techniques from CSUB archivist, Chris Livingston

 

Currently, Pat is operating out of a small room with insufficient funding to adequately handle, store and archive all future incoming memorabilia. Foothill is now in the midst of a major overhaul and remodeling. Hopefully, this might present a wonderful opportunity to provide a larger, fully-equipped building to better facilitate this work.

The Hall of Fame would love to have an on campus site where all the treasured memorabilia can be the stored and made available for others to view and share.  It would feature state of the art technology that would teach students advanced skills that would better prepare them for top jobs as they enter the ever-changing world of technology.  We are blessed to have a dedicated man like Pat willing to coordinate this program. Hopefully, we are able to retain and provide him with the needed equipment and financial assistance to continue.

Pat, Greg Little and I enjoying a pre-game meal at La Colonia
Pat, Greg Little and I enjoying a pre-game meal at La Colonia

The last few years Pat has driven me to all football games in and out of town.  We have shared numerous pre-game meals at a variety of  restaurants.  These trips and meals give me a chance to visit and pick his brain on what’s new at FHS.  He may not qualify as a food critic, but I think he has pretty good expertise…… especially when it comes to Mexican and Chinese cuisine. If you inquire, I am sure he would be happy to tell you his top-rated restaurants as well as pass on his best menu advice.

Glad to have Pat as my Uber driver and appreciate his wisdom and insight. He is the best man to bridge the Trojan past with the FHS future. We are fortunate to have him on board, and hope to enjoy his contributions for many years to come.