There was no doubt in Gary Libby's mind to apply for the vacant Chino High School varsity baseball head coach position, despite the fact his wife thinks he was insane in doing so.
"I had a great coaching job at Ayala High with a staff and kids I loved, but something was pulling me back to Chino," Coach Libby said.
Coach Libby officially took over the Chino High baseball program for the second time on Friday about six weeks after four-year head coach Michael Surina resigned to take an assistant coaching position with the Pomona Pitzer College baseball team.
As head coach of Chino High from 2011 to 2014, Coach Libby led the Cowboys to a league championship and three second-place league finishes.
"In that span, we played seven playoff games and went to the quarterfinals in 2011. We averaged 20-plus wins per season," Coach Libby said.
It seems no matter where Coach Libby has worked this decade, teams enjoyed plenty of success.
He was an assistant coach the past two seasons at Ayala High in Chino Hills, seeing the Bulldogs reach the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 semifinals in 2018 and set a school-record with 26 victories in 2019.
As an assistant at Walnut High from 2015 to 2017, Coach Libby helped coach the Mustangs to three straight league championships, which marked the team's first league titles since the early 1990s.
The Mustangs won the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 championship in 2017 and finished as the Division 3 runner-up in 2015.
Several of his former players went on to sign professional contracts including 2019 Ayala High graduate Joe Naranjo who is currently with the Cleveland Indians organization, and 2010 Chino Hills High grad Kyle Garlick, a Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder who played in 30 games this season, finishing with a three home runs and a .250 batting average.
Other players include Chino High's Jacob Anderson (2011 graduate, 37th overall pick of the 2011 MLB Draft), Justin Jacobs and Matt Jaimes (2006 graduates and MLB draft picks) and Johnny Bravo (2004 graduate and MLB Draft pick), Bonita High's Matt Wise (1992 graduate, former MLB player and current minor league pitching coordinator for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), and Fontana High's Chris Hancock and Eric Ganino (1988 graduates and MLB draft picks).
"It has always been more rewarding to me to build rather than maintain and I think there is a little bit of building yet to do at Chino," Coach Libby said.
The high school baseball season will begin in February.