The digital magazine of J. Sterling Morton West High School

The Sterling

The digital magazine of J. Sterling Morton West High School

The Sterling

The digital magazine of J. Sterling Morton West High School

The Sterling

Julian Hernandez: Coach On And Off The Field

Julian Hernandez pictured during his first game coaching.

Who would’ve expected the B team freshman quarterback to end up leading the football team his senior year? During the 2022 season, Julian threw for the most passing yards in school history and led Morton to have the highest scoring offense in school recorded history. After a historic football season, many expected Julian to pursue his football career in college, but he had different plans. In early February 2023, Julian announced he would return to Morton after receiving a coaching opportunity as Morton’s quarterback coach. After graduating from Morton West in 2023, Julian started his coaching career this past summer.

The Sterling was able to interview Coach Hernandez about how his first year as a coach is playing out.

DT: ”What was your experience playing at Morton?”

JH: “My experience was a roller coaster; my first-time playing football was my freshmen year. I had fun throwing the ball around to my guys, I was so-so and was never the best, I knew that from the start. I ended up making the B team as the starting Quarterback, but I didn’t let that stop me. As I developed, I enjoyed controlling the offense. My senior year, I worked my rear end off and got the opportunity to start as the varsity Quarterback.”

Julian Hernandez, pictured during his Senior Year.

DT: ”How were you put in the position to come back and coach?”

JH: “Every Tuesday morning, the team would have early practices, and I would come around to help out the Quarterbacks during practice. But being around the Quarterbacks so much I started to learn how to develop them as players, Coach O’Donnell at the time asked me if I ever thought about giving coaching a try after high school, and being away from the game for a little made me think a lot until I realized coaching was a passion of mine. Even after Coach O’Donnell left, head Coach Organ still offered me a spot on the coaching roster.”

DT: “What made you come back and coach your former teammates? And what is it like?”

JH: “Definitely sometimes weird, like I just played with these guys not too long, but it’s a rewarding feeling when these same guys come up to me and ask me questions and now being able to provide coaching tips for them helps me understand more, I think them seeing I was just in their shoes allows them to feel more open to come to me.”

DT: “What has been your biggest struggle and greatest success so far coaching?”

JH: “My biggest struggle definitely has been trying to communicate to these guys how to understand the game on a different level, to sometimes slow everything down and see from a different perspective. My biggest success has been the relationships I’ve built with these guys, and what I mean by that is experiencing what they have all felt helps me connect with these athletes both on and off the field.

Whether you ask teachers, coaches, or teammates about Julian, everyone would agree he loves to see the people around him succeed. Morton’s starting varsity senior center, Alejandro Martinez was asked about Julian’s time as a former teammate and now as a coach.

DT: ”How was Julian like as a teammate?”

AM: “Julian was definitely a leader, he cared for the team a lot and realized football was much more than just how he performed on the field.”

DT: “How did you feel when you heard the news about Julian coming back?”

AM: “I was honestly pretty excited to have a former teammate come back and be a coach, I knew he would understand both the players side and the coaches side.”

DT: “How well do you think Julian has filled his coaching position?”

AM: “He’s fit in perfect; he understands us because he is one of us. He leads well and is able to adapt when there is adversity and, in my opinion, that’s what a great leader is.”


On and off the field, Julian Hernandez has made the effort to be the best in everything he does. Changing the narrative around Morton is a goal of his. Showing opportunities are all around as long as you put yourself out there. Coming full circle, Julian picked up where he left off, now with a different role.

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About the Contributor
Danny Torres
Danny Torres, Writer
Danny Torres, a senior, is a writer for The Sterling, the digital magazine of J.S. Morton West High School. After graduating, he is considering pursuing his college football career while still receiving his general education requirements. He enjoys spending time with friends, eating food, and staying active.

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