Returning Varsity Baseball Coach Paul Acosta
Drawn to the Walnut community his entire life, Walnut alumni, Paul Acosta retakes his place as head coach of the WHS baseball team after a three year retirement.
Now that he is back and coming up on his seventh year as head baseball coach, Acosta hopes to instill strong foundations his team can use to strengthen themselves in baseball and in their daily lives.
“I can prepare [the team] not just for baseball, but for the bigger things in life where [they’re] going to use baseball as [a] tool to be able to do everything that goes along with baseball adversity including the success [and] the work ethic that ties into being a good, solid young man in foundation,” Acosta said.
Whilst in highschool, Acosta and his team were three-in-a-row league champions, and in his sophomore year they went to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) semi-finals.
“Once or twice a week, my friends and I would get in [a] car [and] we would pick each other up. We would go to the cages and then we would go to McThriller and come home,” Acosta said. “Yes, we were successful. Yes, we won games and we won championships, but 20 years later when you remove yourself [you think] ‘Man, those were like the best times.’”
Acosta, who had wanted to become a major league baseball player, decided to become a high school baseball coach instead. With multiple baseball experiences under his belt, Acosta hopes to pass on his knowledge as a coach and as a person to the young players on the baseball team.
“I want baseball to be what [the players] love. I want to teach them and put a good product on the field. But I’m hoping my interaction with them would be significantly more than that,” Acosta said. “I want to be a friend, a mentor [and] a role model to [set a] good example for them. I want to be a light.”
Chasing his ambition to teach younger generations, Acosta continuously pushes others to pursue their own life goals as he did.
“I would tell every student that has me in a PE class, or my own kids, ‘Don’t worry about the money. Money’s gonna take care of itself,” Acosta said. “First, figure out what you like, and get really good at it.”
Growing up in the Walnut school districts and staying within the area promotes Acosta to preserve and grow. He now uses these tools as a recipe of success to nurture his team.
“Only those that come through Walnut understand what that recipe tastes like. That’s what makes Walnut so successful. [Other teams] can try to make their own, they could try to mimic and imitate,” Acosta said. “That’s what’s special about Walnut. Whether you’re a walnut student, or you’re a Walnut athlete, you get the [knowledge] just going through the school.”
By working his dream job, Acosta keeps his connection with the Walnut community and his team as the WHS head baseball coach.
“My job is merely to take all the blessings that I’ve been given by Walnut, share them and pass them on,” Acosta said. “Hopefully [students] will come back and teach with the amount of love that I have for Walnut.”
By Rikka Tagayuna, Staff writer