Coaches & Support Staff

Northwood High School Football

Rick Curtis, Head Coach,

Defensive Coorinator/Linebackers

Coach Rick Curtis begins his 36th year coaching high school football and his 13th year as the head football coach at Northwood High School. His prior coaching experience includes stints at Servite High School, Laguna Hills High School, University High School, at and Irvine High School. While at Irvine High School he was the athletic director (10 years) and defensive coordinator for Irvine High's consecutive CIF Championship teams of 1991, 1992, and 1993. Rick has 29 years of experience in teaching business education and physical education in the Irvine Unified School District. Coach Curtis also served as the school's athletic director for the first 5 years of its existence. Coach Curtis received his master's degree from Concordia University and is also an adjunct professor at Concordia University in the Masters in Athletic Administration and Coaching program.

Coach Curtis is excited to lead this year's team after many traditions have been established by previous teams, including 3 consecutive Pacific Coast League championships, 5 consecutive trips to the CIF playoffs, a trip to the CIF finals in 2005, and a trip to the CIF semi-finals in 2010. Coach Curtis is extremely proud of his coaching staff and he and his staff were chosen as the 2004 South Orange County All Star staff, and topped off that honor with a 22-7 victory in that year's Orange County Classic.

Coach Curtis and his lovely wife Mary, are the proud parents of 7 children; John, Steven, Leslie, Asleigh, Bryan, Sean, and Blake.

Sean Curtis, Offensive Coordinator, Wide Receivers

Coach Curtis is a recent graduate of Arizona State University and is in his third year of coaching as the receiver's coach on the varsity level and his first year as the offensive coordinator. Sean played on Northwood's CIF finalist team in 2005 and was an All CIF, All Pacific Coast League, and All City player while leading Orange County in receptions during his senior year. Sean is currently working as a finance leasing agent and lives in Irvine.


Russell Dement, Offensive Line

Coach Dement joins NHS for his first season and will be working with the O-line and JV offense.  He recently moved from San Diego where he coached at Mira Mesa High School for the past 4 years while he taught U.S. HIstory.  He has experience at all three levels and one year experience coaching college football at University of Redlands.  Russell looks forward to helping NHS students and being a positive role model on and off the field.

Mickey Dickson, Defensive Backs

Coach Dickson returns to Northwood High School for his ninth football season. He begins his fourth season as a varsity coach after three years as the head coach of the freshman team. Before coming to Northwood, he was the defensive coordinaor at Millikan High School in Long Beach from 1993 to 1998. He is also excited to begin his 22th year as a science teacher. He loves the opportunity to be able to connect scientific concepts to football techniques. Mickey and his lovely wife, Brynn, live in Aliso Viejo with their twelve year old daughter, Lakin.

Dave Harper, Special Teams/Defensive Line

Coach Dave Harper is starting his seventh season with the Timberwolf varsity staff after coaching four years at the lower levels. He attended Magnolia High School and graduated from California State University at Fullerton. Coach Harper resides in Irvine with his wife Annie and are the proud parents of two sons, Matt and Kyle, both of whom played football for the Northwood Timberwolves.

Andy Nikolenko, Offensive Line

Coach Nikolenko enters his first year of coaching the Timberwolves offensive line.  He was a member of the 2005 team that reached the CIF finals achieving All-City, All-League, All-CIF, All-County, and All-State honors along the way.  Andy is looking forward to continue the tradition of the excellence established at Northwood High School.  Currently he works as a manager at Northwood Pizza. 

Michael Stewart, Quarterbacks

Coach Stewart joins the T-wolves for his first year on staff. He has previously coached at Woodbridge High School and San Luis Obispo High as Defensive Backs and Wide Receivers Coach. Stewart also coached Basketball and Volleyball at Woodbridge and plans to continue to do the same at Northwood. He played college football at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo as a Safety and was a member of a NCAA National Championship team. Michael also works at Northwood High with the Special Education Dept. He is married to Monica and has two sons Michael and Tyler.

Dean Toohey, Strength Coordinator/Outside Linebackers

Coach Toohey returns to NHS for his 14th season, as well as his fourth year as athletic director for Northwood High School. His passion for education nutrition, conditioning, and strength of our team continues to be his focus for the Timberwolves. His positive impact with the players earned him the coveted "Golden Touch Award" in 2002. Along with coaching the linebackers Coach Toohey works with the physical education department at Northwood. He stands behind his motto, "attitude is everything". He and his wife, Sandie, and two sons Dylan and Colin live in Irvine.

Lee Watanabe, Defensive Line

Coach Watanabe returns to Northwood High School where he will start his sixth football season with the Timberwolves.  Coach Watanabe graduated from Northwood High School in 2002.  While attending Northwood, he lettered in football and baseball.   Lee coached the Defensive Line for Northwood's CIF finalist team in 2005.  He works with the Special Education Department here at Northwood. 


Andie Sepulveda, Athletic Trainer


Andie Sepulveda is in her 10th year with Northwood High School athletics. Andie has been instrumental in keeping the football players healthy and playing at their peak performances. No injury, minor or severe, goes undetected or untreated.

 Ernie Medina, Equipment Manager

Ernie makes sure all player equipment is in tip-top shape. He has been with Northwood High since its inaugural year. His responsibilities have grown as the school has grown.

Rick Crowell, Video/Statistics/Website

Rick Crowell has been with Northwood football since its inception. His initial responsibilities were limited to providing game films to the Timberwolf coaching staff. In 2001 he created the website and continues to maintain it to this day. In 2002 Rick began keeping team and individual player statistics for the Northwood football team. Rick's son Casey was a member of Northwood's first Pacific Coast League championship team in 2001.

Rick can be contacted at:


Greg Garza, Video Production

Greg Garza has been part of the video production team since the 2005 season. He specializes in "tight line" video, which is used extensively by the offensive and defensive line coaches. Greg's son, Adam, played on Northwood's 2005 CIF finalist team, earning all league and all city honors. Adam also coached at the JV and Varsity levels through the 2010 season.

Northwood Football - Coaches and Support Staff