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Foothill's Vince Brown is The Times' prep baseball coach of the year

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From last place to first place in a year's time.

It doesn't happen often, but Vince Brown of Santa Ana Foothill pulled it off this season in high school baseball.

Foothill, the last-place finisher a year ago in the Century League, won the league title this season and made it all the way to the Southern Section Division 1 championship game.

It was a remarkable turnaround orchestrated by a coach who had left coaching for 10 years to watch his children grow up, then returned this season to take over at Foothill.

Brown has been selected the Los Angeles Times' Coach of the Year for high school baseball.

"We focused on the fundamentals and tried to make these kids believe that they are quality kids and quality players," Brown said. "They bought in. They worked hard."

Foothill made it to the Division 1 final at Dodger Stadium before losing to Santa Margarita, 3-1.

Equally memorable was that Brown got to coach with his son, Dillon, a sophomore, emerging as a major contributor to Foothill.

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