Baseball State Coach of Year (2018)

Bob Zamora from Capistrano Valley looks proudly at one of his former players, Chicago Cubs’ pitcher Kyle Hendricks, during a celebration at the school after Hendricks helped the Cubs win the World Series. Photo: @CapoValleyHS /

For the second straight year, a coach from a school in the CIF Southern Section’s South Coast League has earned a prestigious statewide honor as Capistrano Valley’s Bob Zamora follows El Toro’s Mike Gonzales as the Cal-Hi Sports Baseball State Coach of the Year. Coaches can only be State Coach of the Year once and this is definitely a great time to take care of Zamora after the Cougars won the CIFSS D1 championship and it’s actually going to be his final season.


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Yeah, it did feel a little weird writing up the 2017 State Coach of the Year for baseball when looking over the list of previous winners and the name Bob Zamora of Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley still wasn’t on it.

A coach from a rival school of Zamora’s, Mike Gonzales of El Toro (Lake Forest), was last year’s honoree. And thanks to Zamora’s club this year, the issue of his name not being on the list has now been taken care of as he’s being named this week as the 2018 State Coach of the Year.

Zamora is one of the winningest coaches in California history and got this sign when he won 700th game in 2016. Photo:

Zamora’s selection comes during the same week in which it’s been reported by Steve Fryer of the Orange County Register that his resignation as Capistrano Valley’s head coach will become official “in a matter of days.” It may even be announced at right about the same time as this statewide honor is being released.

When the Cougars edged Foothill of Tustin 2-1 to win the CIF Southern Section Division I championship, Fryer and others in the media and Orange County coaching circles were fairly certain that the 2018 season was going to be the capper to Zamora’s legendary career.

That career began in 1977 and that also happens to be the year that Capistrano Valley opened. By 1983, the Cougars had won their first CIFSS title with a 3-2 victory over Norwalk in Division 2-A.

Since then, Zamora’s teams have advanced to CIFSS title games six other times and amazingly have never lost. The second of those occasions in 1987 came when Zamora was disciplined for using some of his players in a Sunday semi-pro league and one of his assistants, Craig Anderson, was coaching in the title game. It didn’t matter as Capo Valley topped La Serna of Whittier 6-2 in the Division 2-A final.

It’ll be hard to top the run of this year’s team to the D1 championship, but perhaps the most memorable of all of Zamora’s titles was the one in 2009 at Anaheim Stadium when eventual Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year Tyler Matzek homered in the top of the seventh inning and then completed pitching a shutout in the bottom of the seventh for a 1-0 victory against Edison of Huntington Beach.

One of Capo Valley’s other CIFSS title wins also was in a similar close game — 4-3 vs. Millikan of Long Beach in Division I in 2001 — but the others were not as dramatic, including 10-1 vs. Wilson of Long Beach in D1 in 2000 and 8-3 vs. Canyon of Anaheim in 4-A in 1991.

Before beating Foothill in this year’s final, the Cougars had a 3-2 win against South Hills of West Covina in the second-round, a 3-2 win in eight innings against Dos Pueblos of Goleta in the quarterfinals and a 4-2 triumph against favored Orange Lutheran in the semifinals.

It was a walk-off home run by Ryan Daugherty that ended the game vs. Dos Pueblos, but is there some secret why the Cougars under Zamora have been so stellar in close games in the playoffs?

“It’s old school baseball,” he told Los Angeles Times sportswriter Eric Sondheimer when the Times named him recently as its 2018 Coach of the Year. “We’re putting down three and four sacrifices in a seven-inning game. That’s what we did well and it paid off.”

Zamora won the 700th game of his career during the 2016 season and will finish with 746. If he had gone one more year, he would have passed Dave Demarest from La Quinta of Westminster (753) and Mike Curran of Anaheim Esperanza (751) on the all-time Orange County and state list. Those three are now showing at No. 6, No. 7 and No. 8 statewide.

Since the State Coach of the Year almost always goes to someone who guided a team to a section title and it’s an honor that can only be won once, we’re just glad that this year’s Capo Valley squad got it done for their coach. Otherwise, Bob Zamora’s name probably would have never been put on the all-time list. Congrats to him on a great season and a truly legendary career.

All-Time List Cal-Hi Sports
State Baseball Coaches Of The Year

El Toro head coach Mike Gonzales skippered his 2017 squad to CIFSS D1 crown. Photo:

2018 – Bob Zamora, Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley (25-10)
2017 – Mike Gonzales, Lake Forest El Toro (27-7-1)
2016 – Gary Remiker, San Diego Cathedral Catholic (25-9)
2015 – John Donohue, San Francisco Lowell (25-8)
2014 – James Davis, El Cajon Granite Hills (26-7)
2013 – Jeff Carlson, Elk Grove (29-5)
2012 – Steve Vickery, Lakeside El Capitan (31-7)
2011 – John Goulding, Union City James Logan
2010 – Tom Donald, Clovis Buchanan (29-5)
2009 – Pete Jensen, San Mateo Serra (30-6)
2008 – Jeff Phillips, La Mesa Grossmont (29-7)
2007 – John Diatte, San Jose Valley Christian
2006 – Spud O’Neil, Lakewood (29-5-1)
2005 – Bill Hutton, San Jose Mitty (28-6)
2004 – Rick Steen, Danville San Ramon Valley (25-8)
2003 – Justin Machado, Carlsbad La Costa Canyon (32-1)
2002 – Dave Currie, Santa Clara Wilcox (34-3)
2001 – Tom Muesborn, Chatsworth (31-2)
2000 – Harry Jenkins, Torrance West (29-2)
1999 – Joe Walters, Santa Ana Calvary Chapel (27-1-1)
1998 – James Patrick, Clovis (33-2)
1997 – Dave Brunell, Santa Maria St. Joseph (29-0)
1996 – Dennis Pugh, San Diego Mission Bay (29-5)
1995 – Dave Demarest, Westminster La Quinta (28-3-1)
1994 – Ron LaRuffa, Fountain Valley (27-3-1)
1993 – Mike Maio, Woodland Hills El Camino Real (24-2)
1992 – Dan Peters, Long Beach Millikan (22-5-1)
1991 – Jeff Meredith, La Mesa Grossmont (28-1)
1990 – Mickey McNamee, San Marino (23-2-1)
1989 – Sam Blalock, San Diego Mt. Carmel (25-2)
1988 – Chris Sims, Moraga Campolindo (24-5)
1987 – Don Ardissone, San Jose Bellarmine (26-7)
1986 – Mike Curran, Anaheim Esperanza (25-3-1)
1985 – Dave Perkins, Hanford (23-5)
1984 – Darryl Stroh, Granada Hills (16-2-1)
1983 – Larry Quirico, El Cerrito (27-1)
1982 – Jim Garrett, Tulare (21-5)
1981 – Guy Anderson, Rancho Cordova (28-8)
1980 – Mike Noakes, Fresno Bullard (29-2)
1979 – John Bachman, Covina (27-3)
1978 – Al Endriss, Larkspur Redwood (30-5)
1977 – Lou Zuardo, South S.F. El Camino (28-1)
1976 – John Herbold, Lakewood (22-4-1)
1975 – Jack Hannah, Fresno Hoover (29-2)
1974 – Jim O’Brien, Torrance North (26-6-1)
1973 – John Stevenson, El Segundo (30-5)
1972 – Hi LaValle, Compton Dominguez (22-4-1)
1971 – Denny Holt, Sepulveda Monroe (19-0)
1970 – Dan Bodary, Lompoc (27-1)
1969 – Bob Myers, Long Beach Millikan (21-6)
1968 – Bill Sandback, San Diego Crawford (21-7)
1967 – Marvin Wood, Torrance Bishop Montgomery (27-3)
1966 – Bill Cox, Oakland St. Elizabeth (23-5)
1965 – Al Exton, Arcadia (21-4)
1964 – Bob Zuber, Van Nuys Birmingham (18-1)
1963 – Bill Kelly, Redondo Beach Aviation (20-3)
1962 – Dick Sperbeck, Sacramento Bishop Armstrong (22-2)
1961 – Elmo Ferrari, Ojai Villanova (17-0)
1960 – Jake Abbott, Fresno Roosevelt (20-2)
1959 – Howard Johnson, Inglewood Morningside (20-6)
1958 – Ken Proctor, Ontario Chaffey (20-5)
1957 – Ollie Bidwell, Fresno (22-2)
1956 – Bill Ziegler, Eureka (18-0)
1955 – Bob Patterson, Vallejo (20-1)
1954 – Ed Grimm, Redding Shasta (14-0)
1953 – Charles Doyle, Compton (23-2)
1952 – George Powles, Oakland McClymonds (16-0)
1951 – Cliff Perry, Sacramento McClatchy (22-0-1)
1950 – Harry Brubaker, L.A. Dorsey (17-0*)
1949 – Al Kyte, Oakland Technical (8-2, League)
1948 – Len Porterfield, Santa Maria (16-2)
1947 – Cliff Meyer, Long Beach Wilson (20-3)
1946 – Walt Williams, San Jose (17-2)
1945 – Pop Elder, S.F. Mission (10-0, League)
1944 – Bob Fatjo, San Jose Bellarmine (13-2)
1943 – Les Haserot, L.A. Fremont (13-1)
1942 – Roy Engle, San Diego Hoover (13-0 vs. Prep Teams)
1941 – Ras Johnson, S.F. Galileo (12-1*)
1940 – George Wolfman, S.F. Mission (11-1*)
1939 – Dewey Morrow, San Diego (22-5)
1938 – George Sperry, Glendale
1937 – Bernie Baumeister, S.F. Commerce (12-2, League)
1936 – Lyle Kinnear, Long Beach Polytechnic (23-2)
1935 – Ed Combatalade, Sacramento (20-1)
1934 – Myles Regan, L.A. Cathedral (13-5-1)
1933 – Kit Carlson, Santa Maria (9-1)
*League and playoff record

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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One Comment

  1. Adam O'Neal
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Coach Guy Anderson (’81 Rancho Cordova) still going strong at 84 yrs old as an assistant coach at Capital Christian . Great to see you out there Coach Anderson!

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