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St. Francis baseball coach Milam resigns post

Citing family reasons, Aaron Milam will announce his resignation Tuesday as head coach of the St. Francis High baseball team after piloting the program for three seasons.

Milam, 33, who previously served as an assistant for seven seasons with the Golden Knights under coaches Mike Solar and Brian Esquival, was with the program in 2006 when St. Francis reached the CIF Southern Section Division II championship game.

"It's been a nice run and I'm sad to leave a program I've been with for 11 seasons," Milam said. "I just feel like it's the right decision.

"I have a seven-month old and my wife just started a business. My wife needs my attention and she and my child are the two most important parts of my life. I'm lucky I was able to spend 11 years at St Francis and I learned a lot about the game and what it takes to be a coach."

Milam coached the Golden Knights from 2012-14, going 22-58 and 4-32 in the rugged Mission League that features traditional powers such as Loyola, Harvard-Westlake, Crespi, Alemany and Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. St. Francis finished 9-18, 1-11 in league this past season and didn't qualify for the playoffs.

Solar coached the Golden Knights from 2002-2007 before Esquival took over the coaching responsibilities before resigning in 2012. In stepped Milam, who joined the program in 2004.

"I met a lot of great people along the way," said Milam, a La Salle High graduate. "One of the best things I got from being at St. Francis was meeting Mike Solar because I learned from him about how to make the transition from player to coach.

"I learned how important the coaching staff is. The players come and go, but when you lose somebody on your staff, it's tough because they are the foundation of the program."

Milam said the ultimate highlight for him with his involvement with the Golden Knights came when they reached the CIF title game for the first time in the program's history. St. Francis featured a squad of players that included Christian Bergman, Taylor Smale, Luke Collis, Evan Simonitsch, Joe De Pinto, Matt Quintero and Kyle Wong, among others. Bergman, a pitcher, was recently called up by the Colorado Rockies and made his Major League debut June 9.

In the championship contest, St. Francis suffered a tough 4-3 defeat against Foothill in eight innings at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. The Golden Knights ended 2006 at 25-5 and picked up postseason victories against Rio Mesa (3-2), Carter (6-1), Yucaipa (4-2) and West Torrance (6-5) en route to the title contest.

"What an amazing collection of talent we were fortunate to have," said Milam, who also coached the Arroyo Seco Saints. "We had so many great players.

"They made our job so much easier. That's the longest into a season that we've ever played."

Current St. Francis center fielder Andres Kim, who recently received all-league second-team accolades, said Milam helped him become a better player.

"He knows so much about the game," said Kim, a three-year varsity player who will be a senior in the fall. "I wasn't very vocal, but he pushed me to become a leader.

"He's very passionate about the program and game. He wanted us to respect the game. Hopefully, we can continue to move the program along."

It's unclear who will replace Milam. St. Francis Athletic Director Matt Luderer couldn't be reached for comment Monday.


Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich .

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