LBHS Athletic Director Mike Churchill finds himself in all too familiar territory.
During his four-year tenure, Churchill has scrambled to find replacements for at least five coaches that have left the school for a variety of personal or professional reasons. Churchill is hunting anew since the most successful baseball coach in school history, Jeff Sears, recently accepted a job with Anaheim’s Servite High School.
The process is well underway and Churchill says he’s received more than a handful of solid, potential applicants.
But a final decision will await a discussion about options with the high school’s newly appointed principle, Joanne Culverhouse, scheduled to return from vacation this week. “We know all the hard work that everybody’s put into the program, and we want to get it done as soon as possible,” Churchill said.
Also on the job in Laguna four years, Sears was recently named the OC Register Coach of the Year after guiding the team to a school record 27 wins this season. He also increased the program’s total CIF wins from one to four, including its first two post-season home victories.
“It’s the kids that came in and got me this job,” Sears said of his new post, giving credit to the players’ talents that helped bolster their coach’s reputation.
Sears said Laguna is unable to compete financially with offers from larger schools. Churchill understood and supported his decision to accept the division III school’s offer.
Until a replacement can be found, Assistant Coach Mike Bair and the remaining staff are moving forward with varsity and freshman summer programs. “Everyone wants to know who the leader is. I’m one of them,” said Churchill.