At 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Carl Grissom was announced as the new head coach of Saugus varsity baseball.
“This has been a dream of mine,” Grissom said. “This is something I’ve always wanted to do. … The coaches that we have in the Foothill League have all been there a decade plus, and those guys just don’t leave. The odds were against me. I said, ‘Hey, if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.’ Things happen for a reason and I’m here.”
Grissom has lived in Santa Clarita since 1997 and is familiar with the Saugus program. His son, Tyler, played for the Centurions and now plays at Los Angeles Mission College. His younger son, Hewitt, is currently playing for the Cents.
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In 2015, Grissom coached the freshman team to a 22-4 record. He has also coached two different SCV Force travel baseball teams.
He returned to Saugus at the start of this summer to coach the team in the Valley Invitational Baseball League.
“I think that makes it a lot easier for me,” Grissom said. “(The players) know who I am, and they’ve been nothing but welcoming, and I think they want to see me succeed, too.”
After stepping down, previous Cents coach John Maggiora recommended Grissom, who played baseball for Quartz Hill High in Lancaster and Pierce College, for the summer position.
“If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t even be here,” Grissom said. “I wouldn’t have jumped at the chance for this. After he resigned, he talked to (Saugus principal) Mr. Bolde and recommended me to take over in the summer.”
After a handful of summer games and two 45-minute interviews, Grissom earned the title of “head coach.”
Grissom’s plan for Saugus this season includes improving defense and establishing open lines of communication with his players.
“I believe if you become friends with the players first and be honest with them, they see the honesty and sincerity in you and they’ll want to perform for you,” Grissom said.
“If they believe in my sincerity and my truthfulness, that what I say is going to lead us in the right direction, they’ll follow.”