Life Of A Brave: The Bosco Community Welcomes Geoff McArthur, New Dean Of Students And Wide Receivers Coach
By Connor Sheehan, Editor-in-Chief
Mr. Geoff McArthur arrives at St. John Bosco High School seeing his younger self in many of the Brave student body and with the hope to teach the Braves about how perspective as well as respect can better the world.
Mr. McArthur grew up in South Central Los Angeles and went to Palisades High School, where he was coached by Steve Clarkson, father of current Braves quarterback Pierce Clarkson. He attributes finding out about the opening at Bosco to Coach Clarkson.
Mr. McArthur holds the record for most receiving yards at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was recruited after having the most receiving yards in the country during his senior year at Palisades. He was Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ primary target during their shared time at Cal – and was a projected second round draft pick prior to his decision to walk away from playing football. Educationally, he received a Bachelor’s in Social Welfare from UC-Berkeley and went on to receive a Master’s in Education from Lindenwood University.
Prior to coming to Bosco, McArthur started Canada Prep Academy to provide Canadian student-athletes with the opportunity to achieve a football scholarship from American colleges. There, he was the head football coach and a philosophy teacher. McArthur served as the wide receivers coach at El Camino College from 2018 to 2019 and the head coach at St. Monica High School from July 2020 to January 2022.
Coming from another Catholic school, McArthur is no stranger to the impact that the presence of God and the Church at a school provides.
“It’s something I’m familiar with, especially coaching and teaching at St. Monica Catholic High School,” said Mr. McArthur. “I enjoy being Catholic. I enjoy trying to emulate people like St. John Bosco. Being Catholic really matters to me.”
After going to the doctor in the Spring of 2022 because he was feeling lethargic and sickly, Mr. McArthur was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin diffuse large b-cell lymphoma. He thought his exhaustion was due to his commute that encompassed over a hundred miles and multiple hours each day, as he was coaching Spring ball at Bosco and continuing to teach at St. Monica’s. Mr. McArthur received his last chemotherapy treatment this October.
“Anytime you have your life on the line, you start to reflect – I can get kind of emotional about it – because it’s one of those things where you don’t know where your time is meant to end, and when you have something looming over your head, you look back at your life and then decide how to move forward,” said Mr. McArthur. “The first thing I decided to do was to stay active and involved. I was definitely worn out.”
A true “Brave,” he continued to coach and teach throughout his treatment. He improved his diet, and now drinks a cup of tea every morning, which he sees as a testament to the lifestyle changes he made to attack his disease with as much strength as possible. In addition to personal changes, Mr. McArthur attributes a lot of the successes in his fight against cancer to the intangibles, rooted in the support and love of the Bosco community.
“I don’t think I would have done as well if I didn’t have the Bosco family. They have been super supportive throughout the entire process. At times, I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it. I thought I would be too weak, but Dr. Anderson and Coach Negro really came in and gave me the support I needed to go even harder,” Mr. McArthur said.
“Bosco has kept me proud and happy and purposeful, and I’m forever grateful for being here during that time.”
Coach Negro hired Mr. McArthur in early 2022, and the success of the move is already clear. On the field, the Braves receiving room has produced 1386 total receiving yards on 76 total receptions.
His wide receivers, the Bosco Football and students at Bosco on the whole are people he looks at with awe and admiration for their work ethic and brotherhood.
“Watching them mature and develop is really fun to watch. Our guys are bonding – went to Oregon and Texas, and the team bonding has been fulfilling to see,” said Mr. McArthur.
His happiness for the 6-1 Braves is palpable, but he admits that the more exciting thing is what the Braves have yet to accomplish.
“We’re playing at a really high level, but there’s room to improve,” Mr. McArthur said. “We haven’t peaked yet, and it’s like, ‘Oh my god! We can be better than we are right now?’”
There’s no doubt that Mr. McArthur will be instrumental in that improvement, helping not just Bosco Football but our entire community reach their peaks.