Mater Dei High School first opened its doors to 120 students and 20 football players in 1950. The school played its first varsity football games the following year, and the Monarchs won their first two CIF championships in 1956 and 1957.
For more than six decades, Monarch football has been the cornerstone of an athletic program that recently led Sports Illustrated to name Mater Dei the Number 2 High School Athletic Program in America. Competing annually against the best competition in Southern California, Mater Dei has compiled an enviable record for football success:
521 Wins and Only 199 Losses
26 League Championships
9 CIF Championships
2 USA Today National Championships
5 Undefeated Seasons
Only 5 Losing Seasons
In addition, Mater Dei is one of only two high schools in America that has produced two Heisman Trophy winners. Quarterback John Huarte (Mater Dei Class of 1961) won the award in 1964 after an All-American career at Notre Dame. And quarterback Matt Leinart (Mater Dei Class of 2001) won the award in 2004 after completing a record-setting career at USC.