Rob Duron played baseball at Westchester High and was an assistant coach during Ron Kasparian’s many successful years there.
“He was the head coach but he gave me plenty to do,” Duron recalls.
After becoming a physical education teacher at Santa Monica High in 1987 Duron was head coach of the Viking junior varsity one year and the varsity the next.
Now, all these years later, he’s become the Samohi varsity head coach again, replacing Kevin Brockway, who went to West Los Angeles College as an assistant.
I wondered why now?
“The time is right,” said Duron.
“My wife and I have four children ages 13 through 17. They’re all active in sports. Working as a P.E. instructor and being involved in the kids’ activities has been enough.
“But if you’re a coach it’s in your blood.”
After Brockway resigned, Duron became involved in the interview process. He had also assumed some athletic director duties after Norm Lacy went on leave following a fall from a ladder.
“Norm is doing better but he isn’t back yet,” said Duron. “His duties have been divided several ways.”
But now Duron will concentrate on baseball. He didn’t do that immediately upon being told he had the job because he was committed to a sixth period P.E. class. But last Monday he worked with his players for the first time.
He takes over an Ocean League championship team that won 24 games and reached the CIF Division 4 championship game at Dodger Stadium. However, there were heavy graduation losses from that squad.
Duron is only now beginning his evaluation process of the team and isn’t ready to discuss the personnel.
However, he’s put together a schedule, which became a major task because Samohi didn’t have a coach and Lacy was absent when schedules were made.
One day Duron thought Samohi wouldn’t have a game during a 20-day period but it all worked out.
Samohi will compete in the Redondo Tournament and will play Westside opponents Brentwood and Windward in non-league games.
Then, of course, the Vikings will attempt to defend their league championship.
Duron benefits from being a full-time staff member in contrast to Brockway, who was a walk-on coach.
“Kevin did a tremendous job,” said Duron. “But things come up all day and there’s a big advantage to being on campus.”
Luther Henderson, the Viking junior varsity coach, is also full-time.