In what may be the fastest turn-around of a football program at any level, Tom Craft enters his ninth year at the helm of the Tigers’ program as the winningest head football coach of any consecutive seven-year stretch in RCC football history with an astounding 78-14 record.
Craft, who played quarterback and was team captain of the 1976 Aztecs team which went 10-1, graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology and holds a master’s degree from Azusa Pacific.
Since taking over a program which finished 1-9 in 2009, Craft has built one of the premier programs regionally, statewide and nationally.
In 2010, he became RCC’s 18th head football coach after head coaching stints at Palomar College and San Diego State. During his eight-year reign, he has coached the Tigers to seven conference titles and eight-consecutive bowl games - winning seven. Craft became the second coach to lead a football team to an undefeated season of 11-0 in 2011. Additionally, he became the first Tigers’ head football coach to record a pthree-consecutive double-digit win seasons in 2010-11, 2013-14, and 2016-17.
Craft has taken teams to the postseason 18 consecutive times during his last 18 years as a head community college football coach, leading two different programs at the community college level, Palomar and RCC, which is a Southern California Football Association (SCFA) record. His post-season record stands at 16-8.
Craft served as the offensive coordinator at Mt. San Antonio College from 2007-09 and helped the Mounties to three-straight appearances in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Championship bout. At Mt. SAC, he continued to coach some of the best quarterbacks in California that included one State Player of the Year and three Regional Players of the Year. In 2009, the Mounties finally captured a State Championship and a National Championship by defeating the College of San Mateo.
During that 2009 championship season, the Mounties averaged 303 passing yards-per-game. In 2008, the Mounties racked up 5,820 yards of total offense which ranked as the best yardage mark in the CCCAA. In 2007, Craft coached his oldest son, Kevin Craft, who amassed over 5,600 yards of total offense, including over 4,200 passing yards and 44 touchdowns. Kevin was named a First Team All-American and CCCAA Offensive Player of the Year. He then became the starting quarterback at UCLA during the 2008-09 seasons.
A former quarterback at San Diego State University (SDSU), Craft has built a legacy at the community college level. Over the course of 16 years, he led Palomar College to three State and National Championships.
During Craft's last 10 years at Palomar, the Comets won nine conference titles and recorded nine bowl victories. During a three-year stretch at Palomar, the program went 31-2 and staged an offensive attack that ranked among the nation’s best for five-consecutive seasons. Craft also developed seven All-American quarterbacks in his last 10 years at Palomar. Craft ended his tenure with Palomar and built a win-loss record of 115-56-1.
Craft took a three-year hiatus from his duties at Palomar to become the offensive coordinator for San Diego State from 1994 through 1996. During that time, Craft directed some of the most prolific offenses in Aztec history.
During the 1995 and 1996 seasons, the Aztecs finished in the top-10 nationally in total offense and scoring. The 1995 team set a national record becoming the first NCAA Division I team to have a running back gain over 1,500 yards rushing, two 1,000-yard receivers and one 3,000-yard passer. During that 1995 season, George Jones broke Marshall Faulk's single-season rushing record with over 1,800 yards and finished second in the nation in net rushing yards.
In his first season with the Aztecs as their head coach in 2002, Craft’s offensive unit finished fifth in the nation in passing offense with a SDSU-record 4,302 passing yards, making his offensive unit the most-improved unit in NCAA Division I football that season. He was also known as a top recruiter as shown by his 2003 recruiting class at San Diego State, where Rivals.com selected it as the best recruiting class in the Mountain West Conference. During his tenure, the Aztecs won 19 games.
He and his wife, Kathy, have three children: daughter, Lacey, and sons, Kevin and Kyle.
CAREER COACHING HIGHLIGHTS
Riverside City College (2010 - present)
- Seven (7) conference titles (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
- 78-14 overall record (seven seasons, 2010 - 2017)
- 6-4 in overall bowl game record
- Eight (8) consecutive bowl game appearances
Palomar College (1983-93, 1998-2001)
- Nine (9) conference titles (‘89, '90, '91, '92, '93, '98, '99, ‘00, '01)
- 115-56-1 overall record (16 seasons)
- 9-3 bowl record in last 10 years
- 10 consecutive bowl appearances in 10 consecutive years
- Three (3) State Championships (1991, '93, '98)
- Three (3) National Championships (1991, '93, '98)
- Four (4) Southern California Championships (1991, '93, '98, 2001)
- Seven (7) All-American quarterbacks
Overall Community College Highlights
- 16 conference titles in his last 18 years
- 18 consecutive bowl game appearances
- 16-8 post-season record
- 193-70-1 overall community college won-lost record
San Diego State U. Offensive Coordinator (1994-96)
- In 1995 and 1996, offense was rated in the Top 10 in the nation in total offense and scoring
- In 1995, George Jones broke Marshall Faulk's single-season rushing record (over 1,800 yards) and was ranked No. 2 in the nation.
- In 1995, SDSU became the first offensive unit in NCAA history to have a running back with over 1,500 net rushing yards, two receivers with over 1,000 receiving yards and a quarterback with over 3,000 passing yards.
San Diego State U. Head Coach (2002-05)
- Broke school record for passing offense in his first year with over 4,300 yards. SDSU went from 89th in the country in passing offense to FIFTH in his first season.
- Was third-most improved offense in the nation, going from 89th to the Top 20.
- J.R. Tolvar led the nation in receiving yards as Craft put together the most prolific receiving duo with Tolvar and Kasim Osgood combining for 244 receptions in 2002.
- Helped San Diego State improve its attendance from 20,000 to over 36,000.
- Beat Utah and BYU in the same season for the first time in 19 years.