Baseball/Softball Coach Highlights

Happy trails to retiring NorCal coaching legends Jack Thomson of Manteca Sierra and Teri Johnson of Union City James Logan. Photos: Andy Alfaro/The Modesto Bee & Mark Tennis.


All of our exclusive state coaching record lists in football, boys hoops, girls hoops, baseball and softball have now been updated through the 2017-18 school year now that we have completed the updates for baseball and softball. Here is a recap of the major milestones from some of the greatest baseball and softball coaches in California history.

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Baseball Milestones/Highlights

John Diatte (Valley Christian, San Jose): The Warriors’ skipper won his 600th game early in the season and it turned out to be a magical season for the Warriors. They won the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division title (their second straight), finished 29-3-1 and were State Team of the Year. Diatte also jumped seven positions on the all-time list based on where he was when the season began.

Jack Thomson (Sierra, Manteca): He reached his 600th win and also moved up to No. 2 all-time among coaches from the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section (only behind Cordova’s Guy Anderson, who is still coaching at age 84 as an assistant at Capital Christian) with his final career win total of 607. Thomson is retiring and it already has been announced that his son, Travis, will be taking over for the Timberwolves.

Darol Salazar (Palm Desert): Before his season ended with a CIFSS D1 playoff loss to Capistrano Valley (and retiring head coach Bob Zamora), Salazar’s squad won 23 games. That helped him move up four spots on the all-time state list. His team last year reached the CIFSS D2 championship where it lost to Etiwanda.

Jim Saunders (Encinal, Alameda): The former head coach of MLB stars Dontrelle Willis and Jimmy Rollins is calling it a career and during the 2018 season he also won his 500th game. This season, Saunders coached all-state candidate Osiris Johnson. He reported a record to us on May 7 of 506-318-5 and said he’s moving to Idaho to be near grandchildren.

Rick Weber (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth): A longtime coach in the San Fernando Valley (mostly at Birmingham of Lake Balboa), Weber notched his 600th win early in the season and had a team at Sierra Canyon that finished 27-4. He resigned a few weeks after the final game, but Weber isn’t retiring. He’s accepted the position to be the head coach next season at Viewpoint of Calabasas.

Bob Zamora (Capistrano Valley, Mission Viejo): He capped his legendary career, which involved every season in Capistrano Valley history, when the Cougars won the CIF Southern Section D1 title with a 2-1 win over Foothill of Tustin. Zamora’s team entered the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs as a second-place team from the South Coast League and wasn’t in the State Top 20. After four games, though, the Cougars were lifting the title plaque. Zamora’s team ended 25-10, made it 7-for-7 in CIFSS finals over his long career, and he moved from 10th to eighth on the all-time state wins list.

Softball Milestones/Highlights

Tony Dobra (San Pedro): He’s actually been retired for several seasons, but in April there was a sudden departure of the San Pedro head coach and Dobra decided to step in. The Pirates were only a No. 8 seed for the CIF L.A. City Section Open Division, but upset top seed Carson in the first game and then Poly of Sun Valley in the semifinals before losing to Chatsworth 4-1 in the final. Dobra went 7-4 in the games he coached and those totals were added to his all-time record. He’s still one of just five coaches in state history with 700 wins or more.

Teri Johnson (James Logan, Union City): One of our favorites on the all-time list that we’ve seen many times has retired after the 2018 season. Her last team ended 19-5 with a CIF North Coast Section D1 playoff loss to Heritage of Brentwood. Johnson won her 600th game several seasons ago and was the 2011 State Coach of the Year.

Margaret Mauro (Cathedral Catholic, San Diego): Our State Coach of the Year for two seasons ago moved up to No. 3 on the all-time state list, but it wasn’t the perfect ending for her and the Dons. They were in line to be State Team of the Year before losing 4-0 to San Marcos in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division final. Still, Mauro’s team finished 26-4 and was No. 3 in the state and top five in the nation.

Mike Noel (Clovis): He was the 2017 State Coach of the Year and it’s a good thing he’d been picked before because 2018 was even better. The Cougars capped a 30-2 season by winning their third CIF Central Section Division I title in four years. Noel moved up two spots on the all-time state list and could be zeroing in on his 700th win.

Rob Weil (Los Alamitos): This year’s only addition to the 600-win club, Weil had another loaded team. The Griffins didn’t repeat as CIFSS D1 champions, but ended 25-3 and early in the season they were in the top five of most national rankings.

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


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