"I coached him at Helix High from 1998 to 2001." San Diego's only known DJ/prep football coach, Mike Aitken, can brag that he coached former Helix High quarterback Alex Smith before he became this year's number-one NFL draft pick.
"He was a scrawny kid who worked his ass off," says Aitken, who coached football at Helix High for 16 years. "[Smith] led the team to two CIF championships." Aitken now serves as head JV coach and varsity linebacker coach at Jamul's Steele Canyon High and is a weekend DJ at FM 94/9.
In 1975, longhaired DJs were the norm. Now they are rare. Longhaired coaches are even less common. "I'm the only longhaired DJ left in town and the only coach with long hair. I do get some looks from football parents, but what are you gonna do?"
He says fellow 94/9 DJ Mike Halloran used to have long hair. Other longhair rock jocks included Bryan Schock (KGB and 91X), Gary Kelley and Shotgun Tom Kelly (KCBQ, B-100), and the late John Leslie (KGB).
Aitken notes that the Afro, popular in the '70s, is coming back; he sees no such trend with long, straight hair. "Most of the DJs now have the corporate chop."
Aitken works FM 94/9 from 6 to 10 a.m. on Saturdays, noon to 3 p.m. on Sundays.