Serra looks within to find its next baseball coach – The Mercury News

Serra turned to one of its own to take over the baseball program.

The school announced Tuesday the hiring of Chris Houle (class of ’92) as its new varsity head coach.

Houle, who teaches business, technology and math at Serra, served as the JV coach from 1998 to 2009.

“Chris knows our school and program very well, and he is passionate about promoting the values that Serra stands for,” said Dean Ayoob, the director of athletics at Serra, in a statement.

Houle was a junior infielder on the 1991 team at Serra that won West Catholic Athletic League, CCS and state championships. As a senior, the Padres repeated as WCAL champs.

“I truly love Serra baseball,” Houle said in the press release. “I enjoy being part of such a rich tradition. As a child, I grew up watching Padre baseball. I played all four years in high school and then later coached at Serra for 12 years, so I have a unique perspective.”

Ken Houle, his grandfather, coached Serra’s varsity baseball team from 1956 to 1975.

“My 20 years as a teacher and 12 years as a coach have given me many opportunities to work on communication and motivation,” said Houle, who served as assistant director of athletics from 2003-04. “The real challenge lies in truly finding what makes a student-athlete tick. What is it that makes him work so hard to achieve success in the classroom or on the field? That’s the challenge I love.”

The Padres, coming off a 17-14 campaign, finished as the Central Coast Section Open Division runner-up a month ago under the guidance of interim coach Dan Nolan.

Craig Gianinno, the varsity coach for eight years, stepped down right before the regular-season finale.

“After careful thought and deliberation, I have decided to step down as the Serra baseball coach,” Gianinno told this publication in a text message.


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