By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor
In what he described as a “tough” and “difficult” decision, Kiel Holmes resigned as head baseball coach at Burroughs after meeting with administrators and the team Thursday morning in order to pursue other opportunities in his young life.
Holmes, 28, said he took the first week of the high school dead period to decide what was best for him and his family. Ultimately, the decision was made to walk away from a program that he has overseen the last two years.
“I’ve only been at Burroughs for two years but I’ve been coaching baseball as a walk-on coach for the last nine years. It finally caught up with me,” Holmes said. “I used the dead period to take some time and self-reflect and see what was best for me.
“I left because this point in my life coaching at Burroughs was becoming very difficult for me with the time commitment that I thought was necessary to run a program the way it should be run. It had everything to do with outside of baseball. Being a walk-on coach is difficult. This is the decision that had to be made.”
Holmes led the Indians to a 29-27 overall record in his two seasons including a 17-12 mark this past spring. Both his teams reached the CIF playoffs after posting records of 9-5 (2012) and 10-4 (2013) in the Pacific League (fourth and third place, respectively).
“It’s meant a lot being the head coach there. I’ve learned a ton not only about the game of baseball but about myself and these kids,” Holmes said. “I hope I have taught them half as much as they’ve taught me. It’s been a great opportunity for me to grow as a man and as a coach.”
After choosing to step away from the high school game, Holmes said he will wait patiently for the right opportunity to present itself before making his next career move.
“I’m looking forward to see where my career path takes me. I plan on exploring a lot of different options within baseball over the next week and also exploring a couple options outside of baseball as well,” said Holmes, who was recently married in the early part of the summer. “See what’s available and make the best move possible for myself and for my family.”
With Holmes sudden departure, Burroughs will be searching for its fourth head coach since Tom Crowther resigned in 2009. Dale Legaspi, one of Holmes’ top assistants, also left to become an assistant coach at Cal State Los Angeles.
As a graduate of JBHS in 2003 who played for Crowther for three years and one year under current Burroughs Athletic Director Jose Valle, leaving his beloved Indians was not an easy choice. Holmes wishes the best for the program and the school.
“I will be around as little or as much as the administration wants me to be involved in the transition process. I’m very proud of what we (coaching staff) have accomplished in such a short amount of time. I fully expect this program to continue to head in a very positive direction,” Holmes said. “I loved the opportunity that I was given. It’s been an incredible experience in my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”