In addition to overall State Coach of the Year John Weber of Cypress, we have additional state coaching honors for the 2019 season going to Pat Fuentes of Los Banos (medium schools) and Greg Mugg of Sunnyvale The King’s Academy (small schools).
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MEDIUM SCHOOLS STATE
COACH OF THE YEAR
Pat Fuentes (Los Banos)
Before this season, the last time and only other time that Los Banos High has won a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section title in baseball, Fuentes was one of the players in 1994. The Tigers not only won their second section crown this year, but did it with Fuentes as the head coach.
It wasn’t just a section title that Los Banos won, either. The Tigers capped a 28-1 season with their 10-1 victory over Central Catholic of Modesto on May 27 and they ended No. 1 in the final Cal-Hi Sports Division III state rankings.
Fuentes went on to earn two JC All-America selections as a player at Merced College in 1995 and 1996 following that 1994 season. He entered the coaching ranks in the early 2000s and was a softball assistant coach for two years at Los Banos before becoming the head coach in baseball prior to the 2014 season. Not only have the Tigers now won their section title, they also this season clinched their third straight Western Athletic Conference crown.
In the 22 seasons that there’s been a Medium Schools Coach of the Year for California by Cal-Hi Sports, the only other honorees from the Sac-Joaquin Section have been Hondo Arpoika of Oakdale (recently retired) for 2008 and Greg Wakefield from Buhach Colony of Atwater for 2004.
Last 10 State Medium Schools Coaches of the Year: 2018 – Ken Arnerich (Alameda); 2017 – Rich Henning (Christian Brothers, Sacramento); 2016 – Jeff Baumback (Redondo Union, Redondo Beach); 2015 – Mike Mitchell (El Cajon Christian); 2014 – Ollie Turner (Torrance); 2013 – Wilmer Aaron (Gardena Serra); 2012 – Steve Vickery (Lakeside El Capitan); 2011 – Gary Remiker (San Diego Cathedral Catholic); 2010 – Rich Sciutto (Burlingame); 2009 – Bob Anderson (Lake Shasta Central Valley).
SMALL SCHOOLS STATE
COACH OF THE YEAR
Greg Mugg (The King’s Academy, Sunnyvale)
It was supposed to be a rebuilding year at The King’s Academy after the 2018 squad captured the CIF Central Coast Section Division III title. There were plenty of rebuilding moments early in the season, but Mugg’s bunch got it together down the stretch and repeated as the champion of CCS D3.
Some of the teams in that bracket are from larger schools and in the final game the Knights (18-13) topped Monte Vista Christian of Watsonville 3-2. They beat state D4 No. 2 Pacific Grove and state D4 No. 7 Menlo School en route to the title as well.
“Even when we struggled, we were in ballgames,” Mugg told the San Jose Mercury-News. “We were just young. It just took us a while to really understand how important it was to play fundamental baseball. Once we started playing fundamental baseball, good things started to happen.”
Mugg has been the head coach at King’s Academy for five years after serving as an assistant coach for four years. As a player, he was all-league twice at Mt. Eden High in Hayward, played at Ohlone and Laney colleges and played at San Jose State.
Mugg is the fifth from the CCS who has been State Small Schools Coach of the Year since the honor began to go out in 1998. The very first one was legendary John Diatte of San Jose Valley Christian when that program, believe it or not, played at the small school level. Mike Kelly of Carmel was selected for 2005 (his teams won CCS titles in 2001-02 and from 2005-07) while the other two have been Craig Schoof of Menlo School (2011) and Gil Ruiz of Pacific Grove (2013).
Last 10 State Small Schools Coaches of the Year: 2018 – Mack Paciorek (Pasadena Poly); 2017 – Jim Cleveland (San Lorenzo Redwood Christian); 2016 – Troy Ghisetti (Arcata); 2015 – Nelson Randolph (Sacramento Capital Christian); 2014 – Jay Preuss (Kerman); 2013 – Gil Ruiz (Pacific Grove); 2012 – Greg Largent (Escalon); 2011 – Craig Schoof (Atherton Menlo School); 2010 – Glen Prater (Riverside Woodcrest Christian); 2009 – Brad Gunter (Roseville Valley Christian).