Most Viewed Stories
Jim Stassi makes it official and steps down as head coach
Still difficult to imagine himself off the field, Jim Stassi muttered the simple words, "Yeah ... yeah."
After 18 seasons of success at the helm of the Yuba City High baseball team, the skipper confirmed on Tuesday that he's stepping down from the program.
A program he built.
"He has such a passion for that program," said Gold Sox manager and Honkers pitching coach Jack Johnson. "Not many high school teams have a 12-month program, and that's why lots of kids want to play for Yuba City."
That year-round discipline, along with Stassi's ever-growing philosophy on coaching, led the Honkers to an unprecedented fourth straight Sac-Joaquin Section championship on Monday, when they defeated Benicia 4-1 at Sacramento City College.
"His knowledge of the game is second to none," Johnson added. "His composure and organizational skills are top-notch. There's no one better. As a player, I would have loved to play for him."
Following this win, the calm and collected coach who usually shows little emotion had difficulty holding back tears during his post-game speech.
It was the skipper at his most genuine of moments.
"There's something we got to sit down and talk about, especially you juniors and sophomores, something that weighs heavy on my mind right now ... and uh we got a couple days and we'll sit and talk about it. I always told you guys family comes first, then school, then baseball ... that's what I'm struggling with ... for the next few years my family has to come first. My family has sacrificed a lot."
With three sons off playing ball, Stassi wants to be dad.
"The bottom line is, and what's really been a struggle for me for the last couple of years, with Brock and Max playing and Jake heading off, is missing out," he said during a phone interview on Tuesday. "Not being able to go down the road and watch those guys play, that's something I can never get back. And with all three of them playing the next 3 or 4 years, those are years I won't be able to replace and I don't want to miss out."
While Stassi's teams are success-laden, the Honkers have been most successful in Stassi's later years at the helm.
The Honkers have won the last six conference titles and have gone 116-9 during the past four seasons.
"I think he's the best baseball coach I've ever been around and I'm serious," the Gold Sox manager and former nine year professional catcher. "The way he's able to get his players to play as hard as they do, it's amazing. And he's an incredible model."
Getting in one last sentiment before hanging up the phone, Stassi simply stated, "It's been quite a run, it's really been fun."