Anyone following Chino and Don Lugo high school sports teams for the past 20 years should be familiar with the name Eric Highstreet.
The 43-year-old 1992 Chino High School graduate has coached multiple sports at both Chino schools, and last week, added another title to his long resume.
Coach Highstreet was hired June 21 as Don Lugo High School’s varsity baseball coach, taking over a Conquistadores team that has won seven straight Mt. Baldy League championships under coaches Joe Marcos and Jeff Abel.
Marcos retired after the fourth title in 2015, and Coach Abel was let go after this past season when school officials wanted to see the baseball program go in a different direction.
“Of all my varsity jobs, this is the first one where it’s not going to be a rebuild,” Coach Highstreet said. “It’s going to be fun to have some experienced players.”
Coach Highstreet is a San Francisco Giants fan and said baseball has always been his number-one sport, but said it was difficult to get a varsity baseball head coaching position at Chino or Don Lugo since Coach Marcos and former Chino High head coach Bob Sheehan held those positions for as long as they did. Coach Marcos coached 30 years at Don Lugo from 1985 to 2015 and Bob Sheehan coached Chino High from 1983 to 2010.
“Now my kids are a little older and the timing was right to apply for the Don Lugo position,” Coach Highstreet said.
He was head junior varsity baseball coach at Ontario Christian High School from 1993 to 1994, was Chino High head freshman coach and part-time varsity baseball assistant from 1995 to 1999 and spent one season as Chino High’s girls’ varsity volleyball coach in 1998.
From 1999 to 2000, he was Chino High’s boys’ varsity basketball coach, and spent the 2001 season as Don Lugo varsity boys’ basketball coach.
Coach Highstreet was Don Lugo’s girls’ tennis coach from 2002 to 2005 and was Chino Hills High’s freshman boys’ basketball coach in 2003. He returned to coach Chino High freshman boys’ baseball in 2004 and was Don Lugo’s varsity girls’ basketball coach from 2004 to 2009 and again in 2012.
He also spent two seasons as Chino High’s boys’ varsity basketball coach from 2010 to 2011.
During the next few weeks, he will evaluate equipment, maintain the varsity baseball field, and set up scrimmage games against other high school baseball teams to take place in the fall.
“I have a couple scrimmage games set up with my brother, Ryan, who is head coach at La Sierra High School in Riverside, and some with Coach Sheehan, who is at Beaumont High,” Coach Highstreet said.
Don Lugo High athletic director James Donoho said he’s known Coach Highstreet for a long time and said the coach has been successful on the field and in the classroom.
“I think he gets our kids, knows our kids and I think he is going to be great for the kids,” Mr. Donoho said. “I know he has been contacted by multiple people in the community about being his assistant. He is going to surround himself with good people.”