at Wednesday, 14 November 2012 17:23by Jimbo
|LA grad Ecker hired as Eagles baseball coach|
|Written by Pete Borello - Staff Writerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Wednesday, 14 November 2012|
Los Altos High officials didn’t have to look far to find their next varsity baseball coach. Athletic Director Kim Cave announced Friday that Donnie Ecker – the team’s head assistant coach the past two seasons – has been hired to replace Sandy Wihtol.
“I am very excited to have Donnie take over the reins as our head varsity baseball coach,” Cave said. “He has an incredible vision for this program that will build the athletes’ characters on and off the field. His approach to the game will develop our players to be successful in all aspects of life.”
Ecker is a 2004 graduate of Los Altos High who starred in baseball and football. He played for Wihtol, who announced his resignation in September after a successful 16-year career as coach that included 11 playoff appearances and the team’s only Central Coast Section title.
Wihtol said he was “proud and happy” to have Ecker replace him.
Ecker intends to continue the high standards set by Wihtol.
“The Los Altos baseball program has always been family to me, and seeing where coach Wihtol took this program from to where it is now is truly amazing,” Ecker said. “This program gets special student-athletes to work with, and when you have this many lives you can impact on a daily basis, it is a huge responsibility and privilege that I am very blessed to now lead.”
Ecker takes over a team coming off a 22-9 season that concluded with a loss to St. Ignatius in the CCS Division II quarterfinals. The Eagles shared the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division title with Palo Alto.
“Donnie’s expertise will definitely be a driving force to continuing this winning program,” Cave said.
As for his plans for the program, Ecker said, “I am bringing in a complete process-oriented system that is focused 100 percent around maximizing the day. We want our student-athletes to compete in all phases of the day – academically, on the field, in the community and with their families. We want to control what we can control, which is always our immediate performance, and we want to embrace adversity.”
Ecker has only two years experience as a coach, but he has been involved with baseball most of his life. An all-league infielder and pitcher for Los Altos, he played college ball for Long Beach State (2005) and Santa Clara University (2006). Ecker was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds out of high school and by the Texas Rangers in 2007. He played five seasons of pro ball – three in the Rangers’ organization and two internationally.
In addition to coaching at Los Altos, Ecker has spent the past two summers as the hitting coach for the Los Gatos Legends, the two-time Colt Little League World Series champions.
at Wednesday, 14 November 2012 17:23by Jimbo
Varsity head coach and his total high school coaching experience is two years as an assistant? Good luck to him, but I'm left thinking that popularity overrode common sense in the selection process.
at Thursday, 15 November 2012 16:48by Joe97
A big vote of confidence for young Mr. Ecker. Given his inexperience, he might be well served to keep the coaching staff, policies and procedures intact and essentially manage Sandy Wihtolís team for a season before beginning to put his own imprint on the program.
at Wednesday, 21 November 2012 16:35by Baseball Parent
Rumor is that Mims is not coming back as the JV coach. That seems like a big deal if true. Sophomores who were cut in favor of Mim's Brushback players last year are probably happy to get a fresh look from a new JV coach. Incoming Frosh who play for Mim's Brushback are probably disappointed to lose their automatic spot on the Frosh/Soph team. Don't expect it will affect much who makes the varsity this year though. Open competition without bias is no doubt a good thing.
at Wednesday, 28 November 2012 14:27by Jayson
If you only knew the goldmine los altos is getting in Donnie Ecker, I know the private schools and a few major division 1 schools went after him, but for him to want to take over a public school, with the system and expertise he has, very lucky kids. Mark my word, he is the future of coaching and will make that program better then it ever has been, with less talent to work with.
at Thursday, 29 November 2012 08:48by Robert75
Goldmine? Give me a break. Potential, sure, but Donnie is a few year short on experience, not even having been the head coach of a Little League team. Lets be honest, he only got the position as a result of the intense behind the scenes efforts of well-connected friends, and one family in particular. I would have been more optimistic if once selected, he hadnít made like Machiavelli and wasted little time in dispatching his competition for the job, the frosh-soph coach.
at Thursday, 29 November 2012 08:50by Dylan03
Thereís no doubt that Donnie is short on experience, and to an extent that it doubtful the selection process would withstand scrutiny. But he is a popular choice, and what he lacks in experience he makes up for in enthusiasm, and he can be expected to be the Eagles coach for many seasons to come. He did tarnish his rep a bit when he told Kris Mims to hit the bricks, but when you get down to it, that move wasnít really a surprise Ė many new coaches sweep away the competition -- though perhaps was a bit tacky given the late date.
at Thursday, 29 November 2012 09:36by Al
Donnie is the coach at LA and Kris has landed a head coach position elsewhere. What did or didn't happen is moot at this point. Time to come together and cheer the boys on to a winning season and hopefully a CCS berth.
at Friday, 30 November 2012 12:26by Baseball
All the baseball people I personally know in the area -- and that includes various college coaches, varsity coaches from other high schools in our area, and coaches of various highly successful travel teams -- think it was a no-brainer to hire Ecker over Mims. And I trust these people a lot. So personally, I can't wait to see what he does with LAHS's program. One good thing about LAHS is that the team has been able to compete well with the privates -- who draw their players from all over, without regard to boundaries -- under Sandy. It spoke well of Sandy that kids from our area who easily could have gone and played for one of the privates, chose instead to play for Los Altos. From everything I know from the baseball people I know, Donnie gives us a much better chance of continuing that tradition than Mims would have. So I am all in favor.
at Friday, 25 January 2013 14:10by Johnny ball
Donnie is a 2 year and done guy, he only cares about his own self and not the program. If it was not for behind the scenes pull, this article would no doubt be written about a different coach. To say that he cut ties with his feeder program is foolish, to say the least. Mims may not be as baseball savvy as Ecker is but at least he does things the right way. Dont be surprised if you see Los Altos have a down year this year due to the inexperienced coaching staff of Los Altos.
at Saturday, 30 March 2013 15:40by Baseball dad
Stumbling across this post I could not help but comment. Los Altos is in a bit of turmoil right now, from an internal fight with not having quality coaches (I hear they fired their FS coach mid season, only to be replaced with a dad) to the kids not performing well for their coach. To say Sandy is not missed would be foolish, their is no leadership in this program. The program has gone from respectable to a laugher in 3 short months.
at Tuesday, 30 April 2013 10:26by Strike 3
The talent as not responded to the methods of Donnie. From a few parents is he enjoys the politics and loves creating internal issues by belittling players in front of their peers. I wasn't a fan of this hire from day 1 and will be looking elsewhere for my two sons in a few years.
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