Larsen to lead Titans on baseball diamond
PEACH VALLEY — Coal Ridge High School has promoted former assistant baseball coach Dan Larsen to be the program’s head coach after the Titans spent the past two seasons under Danny Petrie.
Larsen is a 1993 graduate of Royal Oak High School in Covina, Calif., and played in college at Citrus Community College in Glendora, Calif. The University of Southern California offered him a baseball scholarship, but instead he was drafted to play for the Texas Rangers. He pitched in the Rangers’ minor-league system for 3 1/2 seasons, but arm problems forced him out of professional baseball in 1988.
Shortly after, his wife suggested that he take up golf and in 1995 he earned a PGA card. He later managed golf courses until 2005.
Then, Larsen and his wife moved to New Castle, where he became a real estate agent.
On the baseball diamond, he’s been coaching for about 15 years. He helped coach both baseball and golf back at Citrus. He also has coached his daughter’s softball teams and his son’s baseball team.
When he noticed Coal Ridge’s baseball program was struggling, he thought he could share his coaching philosophy. He said it feels like he is creating his own playbook, one similar to his college coach’s philosophy.
“Players [need to have] the approach once they get to the plate, ‘What is my goal? What am I trying to accomplish here?’” Larsen said. “[That] is something I hope to see my players doing.”
He’s starting from scratch this season and re-teaching the players the fundamentals of the game, including how to play catch and throw the ball. In the past, they haven’t had too much success, he said.
Last season, Coal Ridge finished with a 2-14 overall record. This summer when Larsen managed the team, he had them involved in a summer league. Overall, he said they finished with a successful 8-6 record.
“They know they can win games,” Larsen said, adding that there is talent throughout all grade levels. The team has four seniors this year, and “them stepping up will be the key to the season.
“I like to see the players grow and get better, reflect back on their prior experiences, and work on it,” he continued. “As a coach, seeing results is the ultimate feeling.”
He describes this group of kids as phenomenal.
“They all hang out; they go camping and fishing; they do everything together,” the coach said. “It’s great to see this team bond already in place, and I am excited to see what they will bring to the game.”
By the end of this season Larsen wants the team “to know how to compete. If they can learn how to compete as a team, then everything else will fall into place. I am excited for this season and to see how far they can go.”
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