Cotti steps down as Hoover baseball coach

Citing his desire to earn a teaching credential, Joe Cotti has resigned his post as Hoover High's baseball coach after leading the program for three seasons.

Cotti coached Hoover from 2010-12 and registered a record of 24-46-1, 16-26 in the Pacific League. He guided Hoover to a playoff appearance in 2011.

Cotti, who said he reached his decision shortly before Thanksgiving, is working as a substitute teacher within the Glendale Unified School District.

"I want to go out and get a teaching credential," said Cotti, whose team finished 6-16-1, 4-10 in league for sixth place last season. "I need to work, and I have two kids and I need to keep a roof over the heads.

"I can't just go off a baseball coach salary."

Hoover Athletic Director Jack Van Patten said the search for a new coach has begun.

Cotti, a Loyola High graduate, arrived at Hoover in 2009 after spending the previous season coaching the Burroughs freshman baseball team. While also at Hoover, he coached the school's freshman football team.

Cotti also spent numerous hours fixing the school's baseball field, getting new uniforms and running his annual summer baseball camp for children.

"We did a lot of great things," said Cotti, who took over the program from Tito Cruz, who spent one season at the helm. "When I first got to Hoover, we barely had enough people to field a team and now there's a lot more interest.

"We fixed up the facility with a new dugout."

In 2011, the Tornadoes clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2008 with a 6-1 league victory against cross-town rival Glendale in the final regular-season game. The Tornadoes benefited from a pair of forfeit victories against Burroughs, which canceled its varsity season in the middle of league play following allegations that an assistant coach served alcohol to Indians athletes during a tournament in Arizona.

Hoover suffered a 2-1 loss to host Bellflower in a CIF Southern Section Division II wild-card contest.

Van Patten said Cotti got a great deal accomplished during his tenure with the Tornadoes.

"I thought he did a great job, and his legacy will be will be improving the field because he put in a lot of time and sweat into it," Van Patten said. "He got new uniforms and the camp took off.

"We will be looking for somebody with experience and who will be a good fit for us. I think we will find somebody good."

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