Samuel Lopez gets nod as head baseball coach at Summit

Samuel Lopez has been named head baseball coach at Summit High School. The move was finalized at Wednesday’s school board meeting.

Lopez served as baseball coach at Bonita the past season. The Bearcats went 15-11 but were only 7-8 in Palomares League play which wasn’t good enough to make the playoffs.

That was his only season at that school. Before that he had spent five years at Carter, teaching and directing that baseball program.

He made the move to Summit late in the school year when a teaching position in his field (health and science) opened up. At that time the baseball position wasn’t open. He took the position to get bring him closer to home.

He lives in Fontana, not far from the school and is a 2001 graduate of A.B. Miller.

“I grew up in this community and it means a lot to me,” he said. “My kids play sports here and go to school here. To me there is a lot of pride in coming back to coach where I grew up.”

Summit is coming off a disappointing 6-18 showing with a 4-11 in Sunkist League play. But it was 15-12 the previous season. Kaiser has always been the top dog in the league and Lopez is looking forward to challenge the Cats.

“That’s the plan,” he said.

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Sam Lopez resigns after just one season with Bonita baseball program

Sam Lopez has resigned as baseball coach at Bonita after just one season, principal Derek Bub confirmed.

The Bearcats had some key injuries and had a subpar season by their standards, finishing just 15-11 overall and 7-8 in the Palomares League which was only good enough for fourth place.

Lopez had the tough task of replacing popular coach John Knott was stepped down to take the head position at nearby Mt. SAC. Knott was 247-75-2 in his decade with the program with just one losing season.

“It’s always tough to be that guy that replaces a popular coach,” Bub said, “We’re sorry to see him go after just a year but I think we’ll have a good pool of candidates for this job this time,

Lopez did note return messages left for him.

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Samuel Lopez named new baseball coach at Bonita

Bonita Baseball

Samuel Lopez wasn’t looking for a new teaching and coaching position.

But when you’re successful, sometimes those positions find you.

Lopez, 33, who led Carter to a league baseball title three times in five years as head coach, has been approved as the new coach at Bonita.

Lopez replaces John Knott, who stepped down last month to take the job as coach at Mt. San Antonio College.

“They reached out to me, to see if I was interested in applying. I wasn’t looking to leave (Carter), but Bonita’s a very successful, established program. I thought it was worth taking a look at,” Lopez said.

In five years at Carter, Lopez compiled a 98-40 record, making the playoffs in all five years, and winning a league title three times, including this season in the Citrus Belt League. Each of the last three seasons Carter won at least one playoff game, including a run to the CIF Southern Section quarterfinals in 2015. Prior to Lopez’s arrival, Carter had missed the playoffs four straight seasons.

“When I came to Carter, there was no real expectation,” he said. “But there’s an expectation there now.”

While he helped create an expectation to win at Carter, there has been that expectation at Bonita for a long time. Bonita won a CIF-SS title under Knott in 2012.

“There’s the expectation to win and to remain one of the better programs in the area. (The Palomares League) is one of the toughest leagues in Division 2,” Loepz said.

Knott announced his resignation before the end of the season and Bonita fell in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs, Carter lost in the second round of the Division 2 playoffs.

Lopez, a product of Miller High School, Chaffey College and Cal State San Bernardino, taught health at Carter and will teach physical education at Bonita. He said one of his assistant coaches at Carter, Adam Fimbres, will join him at Bonita. Carter pitching coach David Nolasco plans to stay at Carter, Lopez said.

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