Who is Sommer McCartney?

Coach Sommer McCartney is 24-23 in two seasons as head coach for the Gauchos. This year Saddleback has begun the season with a 9-2 record (Michael Grennell)

Sean Byrne

He is a man that is a jack of all trades. From assistant coaching, to head coaching, to a three sport high school athlete, all the way to professional status in baseball. He has accomplished a lot in the athletic department. His accomplishments don’t stop there though; he also earned his bachelor’s degree at University of California Riverside and his masters at Azusa Pacific University, two very prestigious schools.

Coach McCartney’s college baseball career started at San Jose City College, so being that he played at a community college, he has the ability to relate to his players at Saddleback. He then transferred to UC Riverside and by impressing major league scouts with his supreme catching ability he was drafted in the 27th round by the Florida Marlins.

In 1994, he began his minor league career. McCartney played for the Elmira Pioneers, the minor league team for the then-Florida Marlins. His first season was a little rocky, but as a rookie still getting acclimated to the big change of competition that is understandable. He batted a career low .175 average, but McCartney didn’t give up there.

The next season wasn’t much better; he scored 11 runs. That is eight more runs than his previous season’s three runs, but  he only bettered his batting average to .179. Still the fighting spirit of McCartney didn’t call it quits and it paid off.

 He was then moved to a different Florida Marlins minor league team in the Kane County Cougars, and he started to shine. His batting average improved to an impressive .300. He hit five home runs and smacked 19 RBI’s.  He was a player that really knew how to get on base, and that season he racked up a .369 OBP (on base percentage). With that, he managed to cross the plate 21 times,  all in just 51 games.

From there the Marlins moved him to the Brevard County Manatees. There he saw a career low in games played (16). With the low amount of games played, his stats suffered, though his batting average remained a solid .245 and was able to drive in 12 RBI’s it just wasn’t the same. He only saw the plate 53 times versus the 163 times in the previous season. From there McCartney decided it was time to hang up the cleats and focus all his time on coaching.

1998 was the first season he started his assistant coaching job for the Gauchos. During this season they fell short of a state championship by only one game, on this roster was future World Series winner Nick Punto. McCartney also helped coach catcher Rob Johnson and pitcher Kanekoa Texiera during his coaching career. Coach McCartney stayed with Saddleback for another three years until going to Aliso Niguel High School, where he won back to back Sea View league championships.

After a very successful high school coaching career, McCartney went back to Saddleback to coach full time. During his coaching for Saddleback, he also coached for the US Junior Nationals teams in 2007 and 2008.

Finally at the end of the 2011 season, McCartney got his chance to be the new head coach for the Gauchos, replacing the 20 year head coach and Saddleback College legend, Jack Hodges. Though finishing the season off less than .500 with a 15-21 record, this 2013 season looks a lot more promising by winning the first eight of the ten games played.

Not only does he coach the baseball team he also teaches Health and Kinesiology classes at Saddleback. Along with teaching and coaching, he finds the time to be a father to his two daughters Annika and Briana with his wife Kris.

For more information on the team and the coach himself visit:

http://saddlebackgauchos.com/sports/bsb/2012-13/schedule

http://saddlebackgauchos.com/sports/bsb/2012-13/roster

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=mccart001the

Another game won by coach McCartney (Sean Byrne)

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