Architect of Garden Grove Pacifica powerhouse named State Coach of the Year in softball; top softball coaching honors also announced for medium schools and small schools

With the type of dominant, nationally-known program that Rob Weil has developed in softball at Pacifica High of Garden Grove it was only a matter of time before his name appeared on the list of state coaches of the year.

That time is now as Weil, who directed the Mariners to a 31-2 record and to the state's top ranking, has been named the 2003 State Coach of the Year in softball by

Pacifica won the CIF Southern Section Div. III championship with a come-from-behind 9-3 triumph over La Mirada. The Mariners trailed 3-0 entering the bottom of the sixth inning of that game, but came up with a nine-run explosion to win the game.

It was the fourth section title for Weil, who won three in a row between 1997 and 1999. Those teams (except ‘99) were led by USA Softball standout Amanda Freed. This year's Pacifica team was led by UCLA-bound shortstop Jodie Legaspi and Weil's daughter, Brittany, the pitcher. She was one of the state's top five freshmen last season and is in line for similar honors this spring as a sophomore.

"We do have a tradition and we do win a lot," Weil said following his team's last game. "But there's a lot that happens behind the scenes. People just don't know how hard these girls work. This year at the beginning of the season the seniors said maybe five words about the season. We all had a common goal and we didn't need to say much."

Since 1995, when Freed joined the team as a freshman, Weil's record at Pacifica is an impressive 243-39-3. This includes markes of 27-3 in 1995, 26-4 in 1996, 31-1-1 in 1997, 29-3 in 1998, 28-3-1 for last year and this year's 31-2. Had this year's team lost just once instead of twice it also probably would have been No. 1 nationally in the Student Sports FAB 50 rankings. An unbeaten team in Florida took that ranking instead.

Weil is not the only softball coach to be handed a statewide honor this week. A recipient for large schools and small schools also has been determined. A medium schools winner was not named since Pacifica is considered a medium school. A brief writeup of those two coaches as well as the new, updated all-time state list of softball coaches of the year follows.

Large Schools State Coach of the Year:

Alan Dugard (Woodbridge, Irvine)

Although seniors Kendra Singley and Brittany Crouch were valuable leaders, this year's Warrior team was young and struggled early, going 5-7 in its first 12 games. They may have been one of the best teams in the nation after that and took the CIF Southern Section Div. I crown with a 3-2 win in 10 innings over Foothill of Tustin. Dugard is one of the state's winningest coaches with more than 500 wins. It was his fifth section title and first in Division I. Dugard previously was the overall State Coach of the Year for 1997.

Small Schools State Coach of the Year:

Valerie Reynolds (Templeton)

She's been leading this program for 10 years and has continued to keep the Eagles among the state's best in the small school ranks. They initially got there in the late 1980s when the program was directed by Jerry Reynolds, her husband who is now Templeton's head coach for baseball. Templeton's 2003 team finished 29-2 (one of the wins was over CCS Div. I champ North Salinas) and won the CIF Central Section Sierra Division title. The Eagles were 28-5 in 2002 and also were section champs. They barely lost in the 2001 final to Fowler and in 2000 put together a 26-4 campaign.

All-Time State Baseball

Coaches of the Year

(All selections by

2003 -- Rob Weil (Pacifica, Garden Grove)

2002 -- Brad Griffith (Mira Mesa, San Diego)

2001 -- Gary Walin (Thousand Oaks)

2000 -- Jo Ann Byrd (Corona)

1999 -- Jim Liggett (Carlmont, Belmont)

1998 -- Joe Given (Notre Dame, Salinas)

1997 -- Alan Dugard (Woodbridge, Irvine)

1996 -- Nancy Acerrio (Hilltop, Chula Vista)

1995 -- Marie Dean (Washington, Fremont)

1994 -- Joe Gonzalez (Foothill, Tustin)

1993 -- Jill Matyuch (Charter Oak, Covina)

1992 -- Jeff Carlovsky (Escondido)

1991 -- Kevin Newman (Gunderson, San Jose)

1990 -- Susie Calderon (Marina, Huntington Beach)

1989 -- Sharon Coggins (Buena, Ventura)

1988 -- Rich Kerr (Arroyo, San Lorenzo)

1987 -- Bob Regpala (Lincoln, Stockton)

1986 -- Dick Barnes (Arroyo, El Monte)

1985 -- Neils Ludlow (El Camino Real, Woodland Hills)

1984 -- Aaron Ishikawa (Lincoln, Stockton)

1983 -- Carol Hamilton (Madison, San Diego)

1982 -- Rich Spiekerman (Lodi)

1981 -- Leslie Steffen (Hanford)

1980 -- Bob Bush (Righetti, Santa Maria)

1979 -- Barbara Weding (Montgomery, Santa Rosa)

1978 -- Peggy Linville (Armijo, Fairfield)

1977 -- Betsy Ward (Marina, Huntington Beach)

1976 -- Janet Balsley (Hilltop, Chula Vista)

1975 -- Sally Carmen (Warren, Downey)

1974 -- Sandi Behrmann (El Segundo)

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