While standing in centerfield during the start of extra innings in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, Coco Crisp said he already knew it would be his last game.
Though he was quoted months after his Indians lost in storybook fashion to the Chicago Cubs on Nov. 2 saying he was still looking for the right playing opportunity, Crisp says now that he had little plan of playing past 2016. He opted against taking the route of David Ross, Derek Jeter and David Ortiz – making his exit from the MLB a farewell tour filled with gifts and standing ovations – and instead rode off into the desert after 15 seasons.
Monday, the former major leaguer and Shadow Hills (Indio, Calif.) athletic director Ron Shipley announced that Crisp has been hired to lead the program’s varsity baseball team, following in the footsteps of Xavier Prep football coach James Dockery as former professional athletes recently returning to the valley to impact young athletes’ careers.
“Anytime you get someone who’s played at the highest level, that’s exciting,” Shipley said. “His knowledge of the game is tremendous, and he’s been part of the game most of his entire life and is excited to share his knowledge with our players and our program.”
For most of his career, Crisp owned a house in Desert Hot Springs. He bought a house there when he was 20 and just beginning his stint in the minor leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals organization, joining his parents and grandparents who had previously moved to the area.