Tag Archives: Mike Delaney

Mike Delaney, Burbank Softball Coach, Resigns Position

By Rick Assad

 

Upon initial inspection, it appears that being a high school softball coach is a pretty easy job.

You simply gather your players for a pregame drill and then the team plays a game. Then you conduct another pregame drill and play another game. Add a few more practices and that’s it.

But in reality, it’s far more complicated and nuanced than that and it’s also very time consuming.

For Mike Delaney, the longtime Burbank High skipper, the job simply demanded too much of his time on and off the field. On Monday, he stepped down from the position.

Mike Delaney stepped down as Burbank High’s softball coach. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I had been mulling this over for a couple of months,” Delaney said of resigning. “I made up my mind two or three weeks ago.”

Delaney informed Burbank principal, Dr. Michael Bertram of his decision a while ago and said he had the full support of Bertram and the entire athletic department staff during his tenure on the clock.

Delaney then added: “It’s been a really time consuming job,” he said after serving as the head coach for six years.

Delaney gathered the team on Monday before exit meetings and told them he would not be back next season.

This is the letter Delaney sent to the players’ parents.

“There are a few reasons that I made this decision. First and foremost the position of head coach had become extremely time consuming off the field,” he wrote. “Resolving and or mediating conflict between boosters and parents regarding fundraising became an almost nightly occurrence with either phone calls, texts or emails.”

The letter continued: “This along with [the] district’s inability to resolve the majority of our [Title IX] concerns, and my concern that neither could be resolved quickly or without a bigger off field time commitment from me were major factors in my decision,” it read. “I could no longer rationalize the amount of time I was taking away from my family.”

Burbank finished 11-13-1 overall this campaign and went 8-6 for fourth place in the Pacific League.

In a CIF Southern Section first-round playoff match on the road, the Bulldogs lost to Pomona Catholic 10-2.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time with each and every team,” Delaney said. “But the job took up too much of my time.”

On most weeks, Delaney and his staff put in no less than 15 hours and as many as 18 hours.

“Now softball is practically a year-round sport,” he pointed out. “It begins in August and runs until the end of the year. When I first started, it began in January and went until the end of the year.”

If one considers travel ball, softball is indeed a year-long sport, but Delaney wasn’t a travel-ball coach.

One point, of the eight league schools, only Burbank and Burroughs don’t have an on-campus softball field and a batting cage.

Still, the Bulldogs were successful despite this under Delaney, making the postseason five of the six seasons.

Delaney, who also coached at Village Christian for nine years, said that core values are an essential lesson the girls will take with them.

“Every year is different and every year is a challenge,” he said. “Teaching the core values was important from the time they were freshmen.”

Delaney added: “I always felt it was a privilege to be the head coach and a huge responsibility to those athletes.”

Delaney said that when he drove home, it hit him that he’s not the coach. “Those are great memories,” he said. “There are some who are part-time players and there are travel-ball players and they want to get to the next level. But to see the joy in each of them is what makes it so rewarding.”

Delaney summarized his feelings: “Every team wants to win, but there is only one team that’s going to win in each division,” he said. “Of course I want them to compete. But having core values is what they’re going to take with them.”

Softball Preview: Burbank and Burroughs Pursue Lofty Goals

BHS-vs-JBHS-@BHS-7

The rivalry continues on April 23 and May 13 between the two talented ballclubs (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Rick Assad
Special to MyBurbank

For Burbank High and Burroughs the race to the Pacific League girls’ softball title doesn’t begin until March 31 when the visiting Bulldogs take on Glendale, while the Indians face Pasadena. And though Burbank is the favorite to claim the banner, Burroughs will have something to say about the matter.

The Bulldogs are coming off a season in which they went 24-4, 14-0 and first place in league for the second consecutive campaign, and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division III second round where they lost to Palos Verdes, 5-2.

The Indians were 19-7, and 11-3 in league for second place, dropped a 6-3 decision to Bishop Amat in the opening round, and led the division in scoring with 264 runs.

“We have that target on our back,” said second-year Burbank coach Mike Delaney, who also skippered Village Christian’s program for nine years. “Championships are made when the stands are empty. These girls are focused on a goal, and that’s to play our best at the end of the year. We need to play at our best level.”

Delaney feels the squad will live up to the lofty expectations.

“Our team is extremely competitive,” he said. “They hate to lose to each other in scrimmages. I told them don’t worry about what other teams are doing. The second round is nice. I’m not taking away from anyone else, but we set our goal to win the CIF championship game.”

Burroughs feels equally justified in thinking it has a legitimate claim to the banner given that the Indians have secured three of the last five.

“We have a tremendous amount of respect for Burbank,” Burroughs fifth-year coach Doug Nicol said. “I love our team. It’s going to be a tremendous challenge. It’s good for the city of Burbank. We still believe we are the team that’s going to work the hardest. We feel good about our chances. We think we’re going to be right there.”

Burbank-

On paper the Bulldogs, who owned a 24-game winning streak last season, have an advantage over the field because of pitcher Caitlyn Brooks, who powered her way to a 21-4 record and a 1.18 earned-run average.

Notre Dame commit and All-CIF pitcher Caitlyn Brooks (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Notre Dame commit and All-CIF pitcher Caitlyn Brooks (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Brooks, a senior right-handed hurler who will be attending the University of Notre Dame, struck out 258 and walked 22 in 160 innings.

Brooks’ off-the-field honors included league Player of the Year, along with being named to the prestigious National Fast-Pitch Coaches Association All-American third team.

“I’ve challenged her to step up this year,” Delaney said. “I know she can be that Division I pitcher. She’s very poised and always ready for a new challenge.”

Brooks isn’t just a decorated hurler, but a highly-productive hitter who batted .513, swatted a club-best five home runs with 25 walks, and had a team-high 42 runs batted in.

“Caitlyn is a phenomenal hitter,” Delaney noted. “In this day and age, it’s rare to find a humble athlete who works hard. Caitlyn is just that.”

Backing Brooks in the circle will be senior Hanna Moulton, who tossed 20 innings and posted a 1.47 ERA with 21 strikeouts and five walks.

“Hanna’s in a real tough spot because Caitlyn is the No. 1 pitcher,” Delaney pointed out. “She doesn’t get a lot of chances to pitch, but when she does, she does well. She works hard at pitching and can also play second base.”

Brooks and Moulton are supported by a stellar infield that includes junior first baseman Julia Duarte, who has committed to the University of Pennsylvania.

Duarte, who played in 28 games, made all-league first team, batted .374 and blasted four home runs with 34 RBIs.

“She’s a really good kid and a very good player,” Delaney said. “Julia understands situations and knows all aspects of the game.”

To Duarte’s right will be junior second baseman Cailey Stevenson, who will bat leadoff, finished with a .296 average and was selected to the second team all-league.

Sabrina Steward

Sabrina Steward

“We expect a breakout year from Cailey,” Delaney offered. “She’s very aggressive, has really improved and has lots of range.”

Junior Sabrina Steward will play shortstop. “Sabrina’s a phenomenal athlete and has lots of talent. She works hard at shortstop,” Delaney said.

At the plate, Steward, a transfer from Burroughs, has enormous potential. “She played in only 16 games and batted .282,” Delaney said. “She had limited at-bats, but is going to have a big year.”

Senior Lily Winn is the third baseman, was highly decorated, garnering NFCA All-Regional first team, and made all-league first team.

Lily Winn

Lily Winn

“Lily batted .535, drove in 34 runs and had three home runs,” Delaney said. “In 98 plate appearances, she didn’t strike out even once and led us with 12 stolen bases.”

Senior Bridgette Pisa is the catcher, played in 28 games and made all-league first team along with NFCA All-Regional first team.

“Bridgette batted .410 and is smart behind the plate,” Delaney said. “She’s the emotional leader.”

Senior Jazmin Orozco will play left field and is the backup catcher. “Jazmin is good enough to be the starting catcher on most teams,” Delaney said. “She has a good eye at the plate, batted .360, and was an all-area honorable mention.”

Senior Allyson Capili is the center fielder, but was limited to five games due to injury. “Allyson’s extremely fast and is a lefty slapper. She’ll bat No. 2 or No. 9.”

Junior Isabelle Frias will patrol right field and finished with a .313 batting average. “She has a lot of potential and is a fundamentally smart player,” Delaney said.

Senior Mandy DeLeon, who hit .312, will battle Steward for the shortstop position. “She works real hard and does a good job,” Delaney said.

Junior Amber Ingram is an outfielder who primarily plays right field. “Amber’s a phenomenal player who has good bat speed, is a solid outfielder and a good base runner,” Delaney said.

Freshman Anysia Gonzalez rounds out the squad and will be a utility player. “Anysia is the only freshman on the team and that can be tough, but she’s very mature. She’s played in our scrimmages and done well. She’s very talented and there’s a tremendous upside.”

Burroughs-

The Indians have their own power keg in senior third baseman Michelle Santiago, who will see time as a catcher, has signed with Saint Peter’s College in New Jersey, and was tabbed first team all-league three times.

“Michelle batted .531 and has struck out only once in her career as a freshman,” Nicol said. “She’s one of the five best hitters in our region. She’s focused and determined. If the pitcher makes a mistake, she’ll hit it.”

Burroughs senior class (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs senior class: (L-R) Tara Seavey, Michelle Santiago, Maile Tanigawa, Delaney Nicol, Kailanie Oasay, Tori Talavera, DJ Santos (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Junior Kaitlin Okimoto is a three-year starter who batted .485, was second on the club with 27 RBIs, selected second team all-league, and will bat No. 3, No. 4 or No. 5 in the lineup.

Senior first baseman Tori Talavera, who signed with Colorado State in Pueblo, is another key.

“Tori batted .298 and is a three-year varsity player and a two-year starter,” Nicol said. “I think she’s going to have a good year and has made a lot of improvement.”

Sophomore Lauren Lopez will play second base and is an all-around solid performer. “Lauren can hit, play defense, will get down and dirty and has a great motor,” Nicol noted.

Junior Brianna Devellano is the catcher and had a .300 batting average in her initial stint at the varsity level.

“Brianna played 16 games as a catcher,” Nicol said. “She played travel ball so she has lots of experience.”

Burroughs softball (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Presley Miraglia

Burroughs has a pair of freshmen leading the pitching brigade, and they are power-hurler Presley Miraglia, who has played in 25 scrimmages and travel ball.

“We feel like she’s a sophomore because of all this experience,” Nicol said. “She’s a quality kid, has very good skills and a bright future.”

Nicol envisions a rosy career for Miraglia, who can play second base. “She’s up to the challenge, but she isn’t going to do it alone,” Nicol said. “The girls are going to support her. I love what Presley brings to the table. I wouldn’t trade her for any pitcher in the league. I have a lot of faith in her.”

Hannah Talavera, who can play center field, is the other first-year pitcher. “Hannah does not have the same power that Presley does, so she’s going to have to hit her spots,” Nicol said.

Senior D.J. Santos is the left fielder. “D.J. batted .417 and stole eight bases in eight attempts,” Nicol said. “We expect her to double that and she has a good short game.”

Senior Delaney Nicol will patrol center field, and just concluded her stint as the point guard on the basketball team which lost in the CIF semifinals.

“Delaney is a four-year varsity player and a three-year starter,” Nicol said of his daughter. “She’s good at tracking the ball and is a gap-hitter who batted .342.”

Nicol, a leadoff hitter who signed with Hamilton College in New York, was named honorable mention as a junior, and was chosen first team all-league as a sophomore. She hasn’t committed an error in her varsity career.

Burroughs softball (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Brianna Johnson

Senior Kailanie Oasay is the right fielder and batted .304. “She’s a tough-luck kid,” Nicol said. “She blew out her knee and shoulder. We’re trying to keep her healthy. Along with D.J., Delaney and Kaitlin, she’s one of the fastest runners on the team.”

Junior Daisy Rodriguez played first base on the junior varsity, has a great work ethic, and will see action at first base.

Sophomore Destiny Velazquez, who hit .375, will divide her time behind the plate and third base.

Sophomore Amanda Flores participated in 19 games, batted .308 and played second base and shortstop.

Sophomore Brianna Johnson was a member of the JV where she toiled at third base, shortstop and catcher.

Senior outfielder Maile Tanigawa suffered severe knee injuries during her junior and sophomore campaigns.

“Maile shows a great deal of heart and dedication,” Nicol said. “She could have quit a long time ago, but she’s shown what type of person she is.”

Senior Tara Seavey is a reserve outfielder who is willing to doing whatever the coaching staff asks. “Tara has been a surprise for us,” Nicol said. “She’s a captain, a great kid, has a great work ethic and never quits.”

Junior Sophia Odio is a backup outfielder. “She’s working hard and adjusting to the speed of the varsity,” Nicol said.

Two teams. Two journeys. The best is yet to come. Stay tuned.

 

 

Burbank Hires Mike Delaney as Its New Softball Coach

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.

Mike Delaney

Mike Delaney

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.

New softball Coach Mike Delaney speaks to his team. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

New BHS softball Coach Mike Delaney speaks to his team (Photos by Ross A. Benson)

“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.”