Plain and simple, Mike Tallon needed a break. He loves coaching, he loves the kids. But he's not as young as he used to be, and he needs a break.
That was the sole reason behind Tallon's decision to step down as Woodside's softball coach after 11 seasons. He'll stay on as coach for the Wolverines' girls basketball team, which just doubled-up with the Peninsula District's regular season and tournament championship.
But this spring, at least, it'll be former Woodside ace Micki Rodriguez coaching softball.
"Truthfully, I just needed some time off," Tallon said. "With my personal life and professional life, things are overlapping too much. And I'm short-changing the kids I'm working with by not giving them as much time.
"I don't know if it'll be permanent or not, but I need to back off for a while and recharge my batteries. I've never taken time off before, and now it's time."
Tallon has coached both sports the last 11 years, but that's nothing compared to the old days. When he was at Phoebus, he was also on Bill Dee's football coaching staff.
Even now, coaching two sports, particularly ones that overlap, presents a challenge. Softball practice begins Monday. But that's also the same day Tallon's basketball team opens in the Eastern Regionals against King's Fork.
"That's a problem every year," Tallon said. "It's really hard and it gets tiring. You can tell — I can tell — that there's a lot more I used to be able to do that I can't do now in reference to teaching things."
Tallon's 184-60 run as the Wolverines' softball coach included a state championship in 2001. Rodriguez was a freshman outfielder on that team.
A year later, she moved to the mound. Rodriguez went 61-10 in her career and batted .480. She later played four years for Norfolk State. She also helped out on Tallon's staff at Woodside the last couple of seasons.
As for whether he'll come back or not after some time off, that's something Tallon said he will decide later.
"I told the kids I'll try it this season and see," he said.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times