Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, California)

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Mater Dei High School
Mater Dei High School, Santa Ana, California
1202 West Edinger Avenue


United States
Coordinates33°43′36″N 117°52′59″W / 33.72667°N 117.88306°W / 33.72667; -117.88306Coordinates: 33°43′36″N 117°52′59″W / 33.72667°N 117.88306°W / 33.72667; -117.88306
TypePrivate, College-prep
MottoHonor, Glory, Love
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
SuperintendentErin Barisano
CEEB code053-240
PrincipalFrances Clare
Teaching staff105.1 (on an FTE basis)[1]
Enrollment2,152[1] (2015–2016)
Student to teacher ratio20.5[1]
Color(s)Red and grey
Athletics conferenceTrinity League;
CIF Southern Section
AccreditationWASC,[3] WCEA[4]
NewspaperThe Scarlet Scroll
TuitionCatholic: $15,500 Non Catholic: $16,900[2]

Mater Dei High School is a private, Catholic, co-educational secondary school in Santa Ana, California. It is located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange. Mater Dei is known for its strong sports programs, especially in football,[5] and for its multiple graduates who have won the Heisman Trophy.[6] As of 2022, the school has had 23 Gatorade Players of the Year.[7] The Football team plays in the Southern Section Division 1, and most recently won the CIF State Championship during the 2021 season.[8] There is a total of 25 sports teams at the school, with 71% of the athletes being on the Honor Roll.[7]


The school has received mixed attention in local media due in part to their method of scouting athletes from public high schools in due process of offering scholarships as a part of recruitment for their acclaimed football program.[9][10][11]

In 2021, a lawsuit was filed alleging that systemic hazing pervaded the football program resulting in a "brutal locker room altercation."[5][6] Another 2021 lawsuit alleged that two Mater Dei football players severely injured a classmate in an orchestrated attack.[12] Orange County bishop Kevin Vann responded with a public statement supporting the school's leadership and criticizing the "media frenzy."[13] The school announced it would commission an independent investigation into the allegations.[14]

In January 2022, a female alumnus of Mater Dei filed a lawsuit following the surfacing accusations of hazing, alleging that she was sexually assaulted by a former football coach during the late 1980s.[15]

Notable alumni[edit]




  1. ^ a b c "Search for Private Schools – School Detail for Mater Dei High School". Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  2. ^ "Tuition Information – Admissions – Mater Dei High School". Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  3. ^ WASC-ACS. "WASC-Accrediting Commission for Schools". Retrieved June 5, 2009.
  4. ^ "WCEA/WASC Accreditation".
  5. ^ a b Sondheimer, Eric (November 26, 2021). "Mater Dei wins Division 1 football title as controversy engulfs program". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  6. ^ a b Fry, Hannah; Sheets, Connor; Nelson, Laura J. (December 22, 2021). "Football powerhouse Mater Dei confronts hazing scandal with a wall of silence". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Mater Dei High School". Retrieved February 27, 2022.
  8. ^ Peter, Josh. "Mater Dei High School caps championship season in shadow of serious hazing allegations". USA TODAY. Retrieved March 1, 2022.
  9. ^ "Ranking Top 10 high school recruits of all time".
  10. ^ "Why are Catholic Schools so good at Sports?".
  11. ^ "Fine Legal Line for HS athletes who transfer and get recruited".
  12. ^ Nelson, Laura J.; Fry, Hannah (December 6, 2021). "Mater Dei football players broke a student athlete's jaw in a planned attack, lawsuit says". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  13. ^ Nelson, Laura J. (December 8, 2021). "O.C. bishop decries 'media frenzy' over alleged hazing at Mater Dei High School". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  14. ^ Reid, Scott (November 30, 2021). "Mater Dei to commission independent probe of its sports programs". Orange County Register. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  15. ^ "Mater Dei sex abuse accusation comes to light following Hazing lawsuit".
  16. ^ "Schea Cotton" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on December 24, 2012.
  17. ^ Fryer, Steve (December 18, 2012). "Mater Dei's Duarte is offensive player of the year". Archived from the original on February 2, 2016.
  18. ^ Shaikin, Bill. "Nationals stick with Danny Espinosa, for a simple reason". Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  19. ^ "Tiki Ghosn UFC Bio". Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  20. ^ Henson, Joaquin M. (August 19, 2017). "Thais a different team with Lamb". The Philippine Star. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  21. ^ Ben Bolch, Leinart Chosen State Player of Year, Los Angeles Times, December 5, 2000. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  22. ^ "Bob Meacham Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  23. ^ "Michael Gallagher '02". Mater Dei High School. 2016.
  24. ^ "Juan Zarate". White House. 2005.
  25. ^ "Juan C. Zarate". Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved January 6, 2021.

External links[edit]