I haven’t heard anybody bash Temple City Coach Barry Bacon lately. I guess I have to wait a couple of days. We’ve heard the grumblings from other places. Football fans used to have a problem with Monrovia Coach Steve Garrison even though he had them in the playoffs nearly every year. Los Altos fans are still expecting CIF championships on a yearly basis. Anything less isn’t good enough.
Felipe Aguilar was only given two years to succeed and Jim Arellanes was given one. When it didn’t happen right away they were gone. Despite Dale Ziola’s success last year, let’s see how the fans react when he loses a couple of games.
We’ve heard other coaches bashed for not winning games and not making the right decisions. Mostly we’ve heard it from football fans but occasionally we hear it from basketball fans and baseball people as well. But I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a coach bashed, questioned and criticized more or for as long a period of time as Bacon has been.
Maybe it’s because I’ve covered more Temple City baseball than I have some of the other schools that made me aware of it. Or maybe it’s because I used to cover little league baseball which filtered directly into Temple City High School that I was exposed to it.
But during the last ten years I’ve heard more criticism of Bacon than maybe any other team I’ve ever covered – baseball, football or otherwise. And I still don’t get it.
One father told me, when his son played little league in Temple City, that his son was not going to play high school ball for Temple City High School because it was not a very good program and Bacon was not a good coach. Well since that time TC has never missed the playoffs and has won a couple of league titles and after last Saturday, has a CIF Finals appearance. I never did hear what happen to the kid. He never did turn up at the school that I was told he would be playing for.
Several others have told me (or emailed me) that “Barry Ball” would never be successful and that he should have been out as coach years ago. Yet the wins and post season appearances just keep on coming.
Still others have told me that Bacon frowns upon players participating in any other other sport other than baseball, and those that do will be benched and not given the chance to play. Yet I’ve seen several players over the years play baseball and football and succeed in both. Justin Smith, Tommy Bullock and Williams Do are just a few examples that pop into my head.
I’ve seen Bacon play football players, I’ve seen him play freshman and I’ve seen him play sophomores, juniors and seniors. But mostly all I’ve seen him do is win.
Did you know in Bacon’s 15 years as the head coach at Temple City he’s only missed the playoffs once? This year he took a team that some didn’t expect to go very far to Rio Hondo League title and a CIF Finals appearance- the first in school history. The Rams went 24-4-1 overall and in the CIF playoff run, they knocked off powerhouses St. Bonaventure and Granite Hills on the road.
24 wins? Some local schools don’t have 24 wins in the last four years! Did you know that in the last eight years Temple City has gone 140-67-2 with just one losing season during that span?
The Rams have been one of the most successful high school baseball programs in the entire San Gabriel Valley over the last decade.
“This year was very gratifying because we were banging on the door a lot of times and we finally broke through,” Bacon said of the CIF Finals.
Now maybe people will stop banging on him and his ability to coach. You can bash him if you like. It’s a free country. Just don’t tell me because I’m not buying it.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at email@example.com.