Ravipati was the M-A coach from 2015 through 2018. In those four years the Bears won two Central Coast Section championships, as well as a state title in his final season.
During Ravipati's tenure at M-A he lifted the program up into elite status in the CCS. Now he has joined an elite community college program. In 2019 CSM went undefeated through conference play, won a Northern California championship with a 41-0 win over Modesto, and advanced to the state final where the Bulldogs finally incurred their first loss, to Riverside.
During that 2019 season, Ravipati's first after stepping down at M-A, he served as an offensive analyst at CSM, breaking down film of upcoming opponents. This season, with more flexibility in place in his schedule, being able to work remotely at his full-time job with Dropbox, he was able to increase his commitment to CSM.
"That first year it was time for me to step back,'' Ravipati said. "I wanted to help place the kids I had at M-A. Most were still in the area and at CSM.''
In reeling off the names of former Menlo-Atherton players who went on to CSM, he mentioned Skyler Thomas, now at Oregon State, Tevita Tafuna, now at UTEP, as well as current CSM players Michael Pariseau, Joseph Paulo, Malik Johnson, Raymond Price, Semisi Mataele, Fale Mosley, Andre Bishop, Jaeden Barker and David Sulunga.
There's a wealth of talent at CSM at the quarterback position for Ravipati to work with. With the 2020 season having been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, every player received an extra year of eligibility.
There are seven quarterbacks in the program at CSM.
"It's a big quarterback room,'' Ravipati said.
Luke Bottari (Serra) was the starter in 2019 and had a great season. He returns to a perch on top of the depth chart. Also on hand are Price, Shamir Bey (Mitty), Jerry Johnson (Pittsburg) and three other quarterbacks from outside the Bay Area, two from the Sacramento area and one from out of state.
"They're all great kids,'' Ravipati said.
Bottari threw 18 touchdown passes and rushed for another three touchdowns in 2019.
"He's one of the best quarterbacks I've been around,'' Ravipati said. "He can athletically extend plays and make checks at the line of scrimmage.''
CSM has a long tradition at the quarterback position. In the 1980s the teams coached by the late Tom Martinez, who later gained national renown as Tom Brady's personal coach and mentor, ran a sophisticated passing offense that was cutting edge for the time.
In one memorable game during those years, CSM beat De Anza 62-56 as the two teams accumulated upwards of 1,400 total yards.
Once Martinez stepped down as football coach he continued coaching the women's basketball and softball teams at the school, rarely, it seemed, ever losing a game.
The football program went through some so-so seasons under Biff Barnes and Jack Thur before Larry Owens took over as head coach, established a solid foundation and enjoyed some significant success. The program has really taken off into the upper echelon in recent years under Bret Pollack, Owens after his return, and current head coach Tim Tulloch.
When Ravipati interviewed for the head job at M-A, Owens was on the school's search committee.
"When I got the job I reached out to him,'' Ravipati said. "On a Saturday that first week I went to CSM and spent eight hours with him. Going over every detail about running a program. It was incredible how much time he gave me. He was a major influence. I don't think we would have had the success we had without him."
So there are plenty of connections between the two programs. Martinez lived a couple of blocks from the M-A campus and his son, Tom Jr., was an M-A quarterback during his prep days.
The step from high school to college is a big one for most all players. The same holds true for coaches who make that move.
"It's definitely different,'' Ravipati said. "It's a little bit more of a business. But like I tell the top kids from their high schools, you can succeed here, too. It's an opportunity to grow in a different environment.''
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