Coach’s Corner: Coach Franco

Matthew Leto, Sports Editor

How long have you been coaching at Santaluces?

“I have been the head baseball coach at Santaluces for 12 years.”

How long have you coached total?

“I coached as an assistant at Palm Beach State for 1 season in 2001 before coming to Santaluces in 2002, I have been coaching ever since I was done playing at Stetson University.  I also was the assistant head coach here at Santaluces, so I have coached for 15 years total.”

Why do you coach?

“I coach because of the influential coaches that I played for.  First my high school coach, Frank Bumbales, who I still keep in contact with to this day.  I then played at Palm Beach State for two years under Craig Gero, who I also keep in touch with.  Finally, I played under Pete Dunn, at Stetson.  He just retired this year, and again, I stay in contact with him.  I knew in high school that one day I wanted to coach.  I coach because of the three very good coaches that I played for.  I get much joy on passing on my knowledge of the game to our players.  More importantly, I coach to hopefully make positive impressions on all of my players.  I have been blessed to call Santaluces my home since I finished playing.  All three of my coaches not only taught the game, but the life lessons passed onto me from them is the real reason I coach.  Teaching the game is a strong passion of mine, but I also take great pride in preparing our players for life off the field.  Being a part of a team teaches discipline, hard work, organizational skills, and time management.”

Best memory as a coach at Santaluces?

“To narrow down a best memory is tough.  Every season brings new memories.  But something that happened most recently was upsetting a very talented Boca Raton team last year in the District Semi-Finals.  Nobody expected us to win and to our team’s credit, we played a more talented team and won.  Overall, though, my best memories are building the life long relationships with each and every player that I have ever coached.  We have a saying in our program that means a lot to me and that is “Always a Chief.”  Every player that has played for me has an open door policy to come back and practice with us, even if they no longer play at the next level.  We have former players all of the time that come back to support us at our games, come out for batting practice, or to just hang out and meet the new players.  I have also been blessed to have a few former players come back to coach with me.  That is the best memory a coach can ask for.”