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Craig Sherwood takes over helm of Burroughs High baseball program

Baseball: Longtime area coach returns to his alma mater after serving as an assistant at cross-town rival Burbank.

August 28, 2013|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(File Photo )

Craig Sherwood has been a baseball coaching staple in the city for four decades.

For the past three years, Sherwood has served as an assistant under Bob Hart at Burbank High. Last season, the Bulldogs captured a share of the Pacific League championship for the first time on 22 years.

Next season, instead of standing next to Hart in the Burbank dugout, Sherwood will be facing him from across the field as a rival.

Sherwood, a Burroughs graduate and former assistant coach, was hired to head the Indians on Tuesday, as he becomes the program's third coach in less than two years.

"I really couldn't lose," said Sherwood, 55. "If I applied for the Burroughs job and didn't get it I knew I could always go back to Burbank with Bob.

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"But this is a good opportunity for me and I get to come home. …I'm really excited about being able to take over at the school that I graduated from and a baseball program I've been around for 40 years."

Sherwood, who graduated in 1976, has decades of coaching experience, which started in the Burbank Park, Recreation and Community Services Department's Hap Minor baseball program when he was still a student at Burroughs.

"I actually coached Bob Hart and he played for me in the old park and rec days," Sherwood said with a chuckle.

Hart said the Burroughs job should be a perfect fit for Sherwood.

"The intangible is all of his baseball knowledge and all the years experience he's had coaching," Hart said. "He also has great baseball savvy and he's a great practice coach. And really his strength is knowing how to win, because he's come from winning programs."

Along with serving as an assistant at Burbank, Sherwood was also an assistant at Burroughs for two stints totaling seven years, the last coming from 1996-2000 under Jose Valle. He was on the staff when the Indians captured a Foothill League title in 1997, its first in 38 years.

"Craig had a lot to do with the success we enjoyed in the program in the '90s," said Valle, who is now co-athletic director at Burroughs. "He just has a great baseball mind and the kids really buy into what he's teaching.

"The other great thing about him is that we know he's going to be here for a long time. He's not a guy who is looking to coach beyond high school. This is the job he wanted and we're happy to have him."

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