The search for a new Golden West baseball coach didn’t last very long and didn’t go very far.
Golden West athletic director Tom Buckley announced that Rick Lantrip will take over as the new head baseball coach for the 2014 season.
Lantrip played for Buckley at Golden West where he graduated in 1987.
He spent last season as an assistant coach on Golden West’s Central Section Division III championship team.
“He definitely has a lot of tradition in him,” Buckley said. “He is one of the best athletes to go through Golden West. He has a work ethic that is hard to beat. He knows the game well. He played at a high level. He was the right man for the job.”
Lantrip said he was looking forward to the challenge of carrying on the winning tradition at Golden West.
“Being alumni, the program has meant a lot to me in my baseball history,” he said. “I learned a lot from my coaches I played for there. I hope to extend that learning experience to the players that will play under myself and the coaching staff.”
Lantrip was the Gatorade state player of the year during his senior year at Golden West. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Seattle Mariners, but he opted to play collegiately at the University of Arizona. He transferred to Fresno State where he played one season before being drafted in the fifth round by the New York Yankees.
He played three years of professional baseball in the Yankees’ minor league system.
“This is something I’ve always had in the back of my mind, that if the position came open, it would be something I would pursue,” Lantrip said. “Having the history it does here, I knew it would be a premium spot to coach.”
Lantrip, who was also the freshman coach at Golden West two seasons ago, said he spoke with former coach Bob Verissimo about transitioning into the head-coaching job.
Verissimo will stay on as a pitching coach after seven years as the head coach.
“Our conversation about this position and his tenure here started a while back,” Lantrip said. “This was something he and I had been on the same page for the last two years.”
It is Lantrip’s first head coaching job, but he said he is ready for the challenge. He said he doesn’t mind the extra hours of fundraising and keeping up on the field.
“My main goal is to continue to build a program with a long and rich baseball history,” Lantrip said. “As far as the field goes, I’m OCD about the field. It is something I am looking forward to getting into.”
The high school baseball season doesn’t start until 2014, but the work for the new head coach has already started.
“Rick will do a good job,” Buckley said. “He’s been in the system, he’s homegrown and takes a lot of pride in what he does.”