He could have felt free and clear from the flashbacks and elbow-to-the-ribs wisecracks about how a former quarterback came off the bench and ruined Arizona State's Rose Bowl in 1997.
Instead, one of the youngest high school football coaches in the state saw a different reality with his Queen Creek players.
"They don't even remember the game," Germaine said. "That's sad."
His boss does. Bulldogs athletic director Paul Reynolds was part of the '96-97 Sun Devils defense that Germaine picked apart in the final minute to negate Jake Plummer's late touchdown and give Ohio State a come-from-behind victory in the final seconds.
But 13 years later, Reynolds hired Germaine anyway once the school parted ways with Curt LeBlanc after nine seasons.
Germaine, 35, won a state championship at Mountain View under Jesse Parker in 1993, played a year at Scottsdale Community College and left for Ohio State. He won a Super Bowl as Kurt Warner's backup in St. Louis in 1999, but after stints with three other teams, never played another down in the NFL.
He starred for the Arizona Rattlers, and was the quarterbacks coach at Basha from 2004-2007 under former coach Tim McBurney.
"I've always thought I'd like to coach before I did," Germaine said. "I was a kid through college and beyond who loved practice and meetings. There's a lot of things I thought I'd like but never had an opportunity."
It's a huge leap from being a part-time position coach who ran quarterback clinics, to "the guy" in this day and age of high school football. Two-thirds (at least) of the job doesn't involve practices or games - but Germaine has surrounded himself with assistants who are long in the coaching tooth: Don Kramer (one of Parker's top assistants for nearly two decades) and Mark Swartz will lead the defense.
"I might be the worst coach on our staff," Germaine quipped.
Germaine isn't a teacher - he's involved in two other football businesses teaching kids to better integrate the physical and mental aspects of the game, plus has two little ones at home - but noted at least one coach on every level of the program is at the school full time.
"You won't know until you become a head coach how much time you have to put in," McBurney said. "The jury is out until you get a few years under your belt because it's so much different. There's a lot of things you don't know about you have to do as a head coach and how do you react to that?
"And then you have to coach."
To that end, the conviction in Germaine's voice doesn't waver - a confidence buoyed by his long-tenured assistants, athletic director and 20 years of playing the toughest position on the field at a high level.
The real fury starts in a month when practice begins in full and the Bulldogs attempt to figure out what kind of team they'll have, while the new guy in charge attempts to do the same.
"There's been a lot of things to adjust to, but nothing that's smacked me right in the face yet," he said.
As almost any coach will verify: Something always does.