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Former Angels closer Troy Percival may push coaching to back burner

SportsBaseballMajor League BaseballHigh School BaseballLos Angeles Angels

Former Angels closer Troy Percival remains open to coaching at the major league level, but the window for such a career move does not appear to be wide.

Percival, who was on the mound when the Angels clinched their only World Series championship in 2002, is entering his second season as the head coach at Moreno Valley High School, a position he expects to give up after this or the 2015 season.

He is also forming his own racing team and spent part of Sunday flying his Beechcraft Bonanza A36 single-engine plane — Percival got his pilot’s license a few years ago — to Bakersfield to buy a modified dirt-track car. Percival, 44, plans to own the team but won’t drive competitively.

“I’m going to get into the racing scene a little bit and get away from baseball a little bit,” Percival said Sunday night at the Bowlmor Lanes in Anaheim, where he was participating in the Stars & Strikes Celebrity Bowling tournament to benefit children with autism.

“If something at the major league level comes up, I’ll consider it. I do love teaching pitching. I think I’d like to be a roving instructor first, but I’m also liking managing. Any opportunity that came up, I’d have to consider.”

There was an online report last April that the Angels, through a third party, had contacted Percival’s agent about a job, possibly to replace pitching coach Mike Butcher, but both the team and Percival shot that down.

Percival’s name came up again in October amid speculation the Angels would make changes to their big-league staff. Percival felt awkward when those rumors surfaced because he is a friend and former teammate of Butcher’s.

“I didn’t really pursue it, and I didn’t hear from anybody with the Angels,” said Percival, who is also playing first base and third base on an adult recreational baseball team. “My agent talked to a couple teams, but I’m not sure I’m ready to jump back into that until I get my high school team to the playoffs.”

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