Travis Clark, once a star defensive back at Samohi, is in his fourth year as head coach of the Vikings.
"Being born in Santa Monica, being an alum of Santa Monica High School, obviously it's really deep inside of me," Clark said.
After going to the CIF semifinals last year, Santa Monica went unbeaten in league this year and is poised to make another post-season run.
"This is a great group of kids," Clark said. "I'm really proud of them. We got five stars on our team to zero stars, but they all participate the same, they give 100 percent effort. They play for their school, they play for their community, they play for their friends and their coaches, and I love them."
Asked how he would describe his coaching style, Clark said, "Very passionate, very intense, the kids will tell you, but it's all about love. If your teacher is not yelling at you, your boss isn't yelling at you, then they don't care. I tell them all the time, if I'm on you, I care."
Cornerback Tramaine Taylor agrees.
"He's always hyped," Taylor said. "Makes you practice hard even (when) you don't want to."
Clark gets the most out of his players. Much of that is due to the one word he constantly preaches: finish.
"If you're running a gasser, I want you to run through the line, because at the end of the game, 4th quarter when you're tired and you're hurt, at the snap of the ball you have got to go 100 percent," he said. "That's how you're going to be victorious, even in life."
Clark is the NFL-ABC7 High School Coach of the Week.