Some coaching changes are planned, others are of the unexpected variety. And then there’s the shift that has unfolded in Southern California, where South Hills softball coach Christina Zambrana led the school to a 10-4-1 start. Entering the school’s spring break, Zambrana, a first year coach, was given no impression that her time leading the team was up.
Yet that’s precisely what unfolded. Zambrana was informed that the rest of the team’s season would come under the leadership of junior varsity coach Paul Granado. South Hills athletic director and baseball coach Darren Murphy told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that the school couldn’t speak about personnel matters, but it’s clear from the characterization of Granado’s reaction that he didn’t anticipate the sudden promotion.
“I think one of the things she (Zambrana) did well was that we ran things together,” Granado told the Valley Tribune. “So, I kind of know the kids better, how practices went, who plays where and that should help ease the transition.
“South Hills has a rich tradition, there’s a lot of talent here. Though I have a different kind of style of coaching, I know the girls are playing well and I just hope to keep that going.”
Regardless of the true reason for Zambrana’s dismissal, the shift feels eerily like Murphy and the school administration had second thoughts about their decision to pick Zambrana instead of Granada, who accepted the JV role after being passed over. Now he’s on the clock, and we’ll soon learn whether his experience can drive even more success than Granado’s early returns.