A Home Run for the Gaels

Eric Valenzuela sitting in the bleachers.Saint Mary’s has a new head baseball coach—Eric Valenzuela, the former pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for San Diego State—to go with its new baseball field, which was unveiled a little over a year ago.

“I’m excited to get it going,” said Valenzuela. “I’m excited to start the journey of putting Saint Mary’s on the map, not only on the West Coast but nationally.”

A native of Covina, Calif., Valenzuela played for Arizona State, then transferred to Pepperdine, where he was team captain in 2001, when the Waves won the WCC title. He is stepping into his first head coaching job in the same place where his coaching career began. Valenzuela was an assistant at Saint Mary’s in 2002-03 before moving on to the University of San Diego, where he helped the Toreros reach the NCAA Tournament three times and win two West Coast Conference regular season championships, and then to San Diego State, where he compiled two
recruiting classes ranked in the Top 25 nationally by Baseball America.

“Eric is a rising star among coaches across the country,” said Rich Hill, University of San Diego head baseball coach. “He was directly responsible for our success here at USD during the time he was here. He developed Major League pitchers such as Brian Matusz and A.J. Griffin. Saint Mary’s will be extremely impressed with Eric Valenzuela, and we wish him all the luck in the world, except when they play the Toreros.”