By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor
Mike Delaney has been chosen as the new softball coach at Burbank High School, the school announced on Wednesday. Delaney replaces Nicole Drabecki who resigned in August for personal reasons.
Delaney coached at Village Christian for the past nine years where he won two league championships in 2009 and 2011. His accomplishments include CIF semifinal appearances in 2009 and 2010 where his teams went 26-6 and 24-6, respectively.
The Crusaders went 10-15 last season and 2-6 in Olympic League play. Delaney had been coaching at VC for 18 years total serving as an assistant his first nine years. During that time, he was a part of the 2003 CIF championship team and the 2004 CIF runner-up squad.
A Burbank resident since 1964, the decision to leave Village Christian where he coached and his children attended school was an extremely difficult one. At the same time, to coach in his hometown was an opportunity too special to pass up.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity. It’s a new kind of challenge,” Delaney said. “It’s one of the few jobs that I would ever consider leaving for. This was one of those jobs on my radar.”
The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind for Delaney. He met with his former team yesterday and broke the news in an emotional meeting.
“It’s been very tough. It was difficult to leave,” Delaney explained. “I’ve been there 18 years coaching. Twenty-six years including my children going there. I’ve developed some great relationships at Village. It was very hard for me. It’s sad to leave such a great school.”
Today began a new chapter in his life as Delaney met with his new school and team.
“I’m super excited,” Delaney said. “The nucleus is very talented and we can have a major impact upon CIF. I really enjoy competing in that type of an arena. It reminds me of a couple teams at Village Christian.”
Burbank returns 10 ladies from a squad that won the Pacific League title last spring, the school’s first league championship since 1987. The Bulldogs went 25-3 overall and 14-0 in league as they advanced to the second round of the CIF Division III playoffs.
First-team All-CIF recipient and Pacific League MVP Caitlyn Brooks, a junior, comes back as does senior Kaitlin Brooks (All-League Honorable Mention), juniors Lily Winn (First-team All-League) Bridgette Pisa (second-team) and Jazmin Orozco (second-team), and sophomore Julia Duarte (first-team).
Caitlyn Brooks had a 25-3 record with 23 complete games, 21 shutouts, 309 strikeouts and 0.78 era. At the plate she led BHS in batting average (.526), runs (42), hits (40), RBI’s (35) and home runs (12).
Delaney is a longtime youth coach in the Burbank Park, Recreation and Community Services Department leagues. He was inducted into the Burbank Athletics Walk of Fame in 2009. He graduated from Burroughs in 1975 and has coached softball for close to 30 years.
“We hope to bring a lot of energy to the program,” Delaney said. “It’s always been nice to go to a Burbank-Burroughs game and now to be a part of it is great.”