The Coco Crisp era has ended at Shadow Hills.
The former major leaguer and World Series champion gave official notice to Shadow Hills High School (Indio, California) athletic director Michael Walsh on Thursday that he was stepping down after two years as the baseball coach at the school.
Crisp said Thursday by phone that he and his family are moving out of the desert and it wouldn’t have made sense to try to commute and give the job the attention it deserved.
“It’s a move that is best for our family, but it’s going to be hard because I obviously built a lot of relationships out here in the desert,” Crisp said. “Especially with all the hard work the young men and coaching staff at Shadow Hills have put in to build the program. You feel sad that you’re leaving something behind, but I know these kids will keep working hard next year and beyond that are going to be special for them.”
In two years with the Knights, Crisp compiled a 22-31 record, including 13-14 in league play. He led the team to the playoffs last year after an 8-4 mark in the DVL, suffering a first-round loss. This year, the Knights were 5-10 in league play and did not make the postseason.
Crisp said he learned a lot in his first foray as a high school baseball coach, primarily all the off the field stuff that is involved.
“It was a great learning experience, and, honestly, I didn’t know that coaching high school would entail as much as it did,” Crisp said. “You’re a coach but also a psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, mechanic, gardener.
“I learned a ton about maintaining the field. When I played, I didn’t have to worry about that stuff,” he said with a laugh. “But I grew to love all those intricate parts. I’m out here trying to keep the mound the right height and trying to fix golf carts. Even though it was a lot of work, I loved doing it.”
As far as continuing to coach, Crisp does not have a new job lined up, but hopes to coach more in the future. Right now, he’s going to focus on coaching Team Crisp, which includes his 13-year-old daughter and three sons aged 12, 8 and 5.
He said he might even take some online college classes this next year. He wants to get his college degree — he finished two years of college before being drafted — because that would open up coaching at the college level as an option.
“It’s not like I’m going to stop coaching,” Crisp said. “We’ll figure out what’s next in my future as far as that goes. I will miss all of that stuff at Shadow Hills. We formed a comfortable mentality over there.”
Crisp notified the team before he officially stepped down Thursday.
“Yes, he has officially stepped down,” said Walsh. “He was fantastic to work with and you could never tell he was a World Series champ because he was so easy-going and humble and always wanted the best for the kids both at Shadow Hills and with his travel ball team.”
Walsh said he will officially post the job opening, likely within the next week.
The 39-year-old Crisp, whose actual first name is Covelli, played for the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics in his MLB career, winning a World Series with the Red Sox in 2007. He retired after the 2016 season in which he made
the World Series with the Cleveland Indians. Crisp officially joined Shadow Hills in July of 2017.
He also joined the Oakland A’s radio broadcast team earlier this year and will be a part-time color analyst for 33 games during this 2019 season.