Hart football’s Rick Herrington is stable after heart transplant

Only a movie scriptwriter could come up with a scenario of a football coach needing a new heart to save his life who works at a high school named Hart.

It happened for Rick Herrington, the head coach at Newhall Hart who underwent heart transplant surgery Sunday at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and has been making progress since, according to his brother, Dean, who is the head coach at St. Francis.

“He’s a little drowsy,” Dean said Tuesday night. “He can talk. It’s going to be a long recovery but he’s ready to get after it.”

Rick, 63, had been hospitalized since early March while waiting for a donor match.

“People down at UCLA are awesome,” said brother Mike, the former head coach at Hart who has been handling the program in Rick’s absence. “Knock on wood, things are good. Hopefully he gets all his strength and gets better day by day.”

The Herringtons are a legendary family in the Santa Clarita Valley. They coached together at Hart when Mike was head coach, with Rick the defensive coordinator and Dean calling plays.

Rick loves to play golf, but Dean isn’t going to show any sympathy when they’re back on the course. Asked if Rick will be beating him, Dean said, “Ah, no.”