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Killinger hired as Valencia baseball head coach

Posted: May 28, 2014 11:33 a.m.
Updated: May 28, 2014 11:33 a.m.

Mike Killinger, who took over as interim Valencia High baseball head coach when Jared Snyder was put on a leave of absence on March 21, has been hired to take over the job on a permanent basis.

Valencia High Athletic Director Brian Stiman confirmed the hire on Wednesday, one day after the Vikings were eliminated in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs by No. 1 seeded JSerra of San Juan Capistrano.

“He’s done a remarkable job handling the interim head coaching job,” Stiman said of Killinger. “He’s done it professionally. He’s done a great job as a baseball person, and he’s navigated through a difficult situation very well, and he’s well deserved of this position. We were very proud to offer him the job and proud of what he accomplished under the circumstances and are looking forward to watching him grow and his teams grow over the years.”

Killinger interviewed for the job before a panel that included incoming Valencia High Principal John Costanzo.

The 38-year-old Valencia High science teacher got the news on Wednesday morning.

“I was obviously pretty excited for it,” Killinger said. “I was sort of was expecting it based upon how the season played out.”

It was the most turbulent season in Valencia High baseball history with the Snyder situation.

Snyder had been Valencia’s baseball coach since 1998, but took the leave after a former parent in the program accused him of ethical and financial misconduct.

The Vikings went 15-7 under Killinger, who has coached in the program since 2000 and with the varsity since 2005, and 11-3 in Foothill League play, finishing second to Hart.

“It was just a very difficult decision (taking the interim job) being friends with coach Snyder for 15 years and stepping into his place,” Killinger said. “It was really emotional. The kids made it easy. They kept plugging along and righted the ship.”


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