St. Francis High announced in a press release on Friday afternoon that varsity baseball Coach Brian Esquival has resigned and has been replaced on an interim basis by longtime assistant Aaron Milam.
"With Aaron's coaching experience and knowledge of our players, we are confident in his ability and believe he will provide a smooth transition for the program," St. Francis Athletic Director Terry Terrazone stated in the press release.
No reason was given for Esquival's resignation and the fifth-year coach did not return messages left Friday from the News-Press seeking comment. Esquival was not present at the team's home Mission League opener against Loyola on Monday and Milam coached the team, which is currently 3-6 and 0-2 in league, instead. St. Francis suffered a 7-1 loss at Loyola in Milam's official debut as head coach on Friday.
"As of right now, we're just taking things one step at a time," said Milam, who has also coached numerous players from St. Francis and other area schools with his summer club, the Arroyo Seco Saints. "We're in the middle of a season and I don't expect for [St. Francis] to make a hire right now.
"We're going to go forward as planned and we're going to try to do things the best way we can and I'm going to emulate a lot of things I try to do in the summer with the Saints and try to teach the boys the right thing."
Milam has been an assistant in the Golden Knights program since 2002, beginning under former Coach Mike Solar and continuing under Esquival when he was hired in 2008. Under Solar, the Golden Knights enjoyed their finest season ever in 2006 when they advanced to the Division II title game.
"I've been a part of the St. Francis community for the last 10 years and there's a reason that I didn't leave with Mike Solar," Milam said. "The community here and the school is a phenomenal place. We put out a great product every year. Every kid that we graduate is a good, well-rounded young man and that's the reason why I've been here for so long."
In Esquival's first four seasons at the helm, the Golden Knights went 55-56 and 17-31 in league while making CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs in 2009 and last season when the team suffered a 7-3 wild-card loss to Peninsula.