His ties to the Chino High School baseball program run pretty deep.
Mike St. Esteben is a former varsity player and longtime assistant coach for the Cowboys.
Now, the 49-year-old will lead the program as head coach, said Chino High athletic director Mike Hinkle.
“I want to see the program get back to where it used to be,” said Coach St. Esteben, who will become Chino High’s third head baseball coach in three seasons.
Former coach Mike Surina left the program in 2019 to take a college coaching position and Gary Libby retired from teaching after the shortened 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This will be Coach St. Esteban’s first head coaching position, but he has plenty of personal baseball history.
He played two varsity seasons under legendary Chino High coach Bob Sheehan, graduating in 1988.
That same year, Coach St. Esteben was drafted as a left-handed pitcher in the 21st round (556th overall) by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Major League Baseball Draft.
He was drafted higher that year than Deion Sanders (30th round, 781st overall, New York Yankees) and Mike Piazza (62nd round, 1,390th overall, Los Angeles Dodgers).
“I guess that is my claim to fame is that I was drafted higher than Piazza by the Dodgers that year,” Coach St. Esteben joked.
He spent three full seasons with the Dodgers at the Class-A level in Vero Beach, Florida and finished his professional career in scout ball with the Seattle Mariners.
Coach St. Esteben rejoined the Chino High team as Coach Sheehan’s assistant coach, a job he held from 2001 to 2012.
After a year off, he took the assistant job at Don Lugo High for head baseball coach Joe Marcos.
In 2020, he was the assistant coach for Coach Libby at Chino High.
Coach St. Esteben has also served as a Chino American Little League board member for the past seven years.
His daughter, Sophia, 7, is a baseball player.
He and his wife of 20 years, Irene, also have a 13-year-old son, Jacob.
Coach St. Esteben said the high school baseball season can’t start soon enough.
“I can’t wait until we can get back out there and the players can have some normalcy. Once we do start back up, we are going to have fun and do the best that we can,” he said.