Feb. 25, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara assistant baseball coach John Kirkgard, a 13-year Gaucho veteran shared some of his coaching philosophies and expertise to 14 coaches from the Santa Ynez PONY Baseball League Tuesday night following the Gauchos' 7-6 victory over UCLA. The program was part of the "Gauchos Give" Athletics Department initiative.
Topics included how to be Gaucho great, influencing young athletes in a positive manner and how to teach the fundamentals of the game and incorporating those into life. Head Baseball Coach at Dunn High School, Aaron Dorlarque, also spoke about pitching fundamentals.
Local coaches in attendance included: Ben Perez (Rockhounds) along with Fred Luna and Chris Prendercast (Express) from the Pinto Division; Jim Watts (Red Sox), Rick Torre (A's), Kevin Camargo (Dodgers), Steve Everett (Phillies), Mike Gomez (Phillies) and Greg Fannning (Astros) from the Mustang Division; Andy Knightley (Pirates), Marc Aldecoa and Todd Sparkes (Diamondbacks) from the Bronco Division.
Head Coach Bob Brontsema's Gaucho baseball program has had a long-standing relationship with the Santa Ynez youth leagues along with local Santa Barbara leagues. Brontsema serves on the Board of Directors for the Santa Barbara PONY Baseball League and as an advisor for the Little League organizations in town.
UCSB Baseball believes strongly in giving back to the community youth by hosting clinics for coaches as well as the athletes themselves. Several clinics are scheduled over the coming months.
The Gauchos, off of three straight wins, will travel to a three-game tournament at Minnesota's Metrodome this weekend before returning home next week. Season tickets are available for the first time ever and with each ticket purchased, fans receive a free hat, identical to the ones the players wear on the field.
Click here to purchase tickets now.