After serving as co-defensive coordinator for the Warriors during the 2008 season, Gifford Lindheim returned to El Camino College as the head coach for the 2016 season.
In two years, Lindheim has led the Warriors to a 10-11 overall record but the team posted its first winning season in 2017 since 2011 when they went 8-3.
In his second year at the helm, Lindheim led the Warriors to their first bowl game in seven years in 2017 and secured the team’s first bowl victory since 2009. The team also broke a number of program records: 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 32 players to the next level including 17 NCAA Division I programs and four to “Power 5” conference teams. There have also been 35 players who have earned academic honors. In 2017, 10 players were named to the Southern California Football Association All-Academic Team. His current head coaching record stands at 60-35 losses 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 prior to ECC. 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, 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, Lindheim is a five-time Coach of the Year and boasted the top offense and defense in Southern California last season.
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.
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.