June 30, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After five years of service to the Santa Clara University baseball program, assistant coach Mike Oakland will depart the Mission Campus to join the faculty and coaching staff at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View. In addition to assuming head coach duties of the Lancers' baseball program, Oakland will also teach courses in computer literacy and physical education.
Oakland will bring over 10 years of coaching experience to the Saint Francis program, as prior to joining the Bronco coaching staff in 2002, head coach Mark O'Brien's first season, Oakland served his alma mater, Cal Poly, for five years under head coach Ritch Price. During the summers of 1998 and `99, Oakland guided the Anchorage Bucs of the Alaska Summer Collegiate League to the league title followed by a second-place finish the following season.
"The main decision I faced in making this move was more of a lifestyle decision," Oakland said of leaving Santa Clara for his new position. "Coaching at Saint Francis will allow me to be more accessible to my family and also coach a program with an excellent baseball tradition and a chance to be one of the top teams in the state. In five years at Santa Clara I learned a tremendous amount and made some great friendships that I'll have forever. I'm sad to leave but excited for this new opportunity."
As Santa Clara's hitting coach, he has been instrumental in the rise of the Bronco offense. Under Oakland's tutelage, Joey Gomes raised his batting average from .221 in 2001 to .408 in 2002 and earned All-America honors. In 2003, Scott Dierks bounced back from a season which saw him hit .264 with zero home runs to bat at a .394 clip with 18 homers, one away from the school's single-season record. In each of his first three seasons, the Broncos hit .290 collectively.
At Saint Francis, he will take charge of a Lancers team that finished 18-12-2 (8-8-1 WCAL) in 2006 and reached the quarterfinals of the Central Coast Section playoffs. Oakland will look to guide the Lancers to their first CCS title since 2001 next season.