Steve Baik admits when he stepped down as basketball coach at Chino Hills earlier this month he thought about not coaching. You can’t do much better than what his team did last year – undefeated, national championship.
And he wanted to spend more time with his wife and two sons.
Then Los Angeles Faifax coach Harvey Kitani, a close friend of his, called and told him he was going to step down there to take a position at Rolling Hills Prep and the door was open there. It was an opportunity Baik could not pass up.
“With the program and tradition they have there it is a great opportunity,” he said, talking about the new position for the first time. “I am going to keep the staff there that is already in place. Will be a great place to just worry about coaching basketball.”
Baik lives in Altadena not far off the 2 freeway and says the commute has been cut in half so the job does get him a little closer to home.
With Chino Hills and Fairfax both likely being in the Open Division again next year his new team could be facing his old team. He thinks they’ll likely meet in summer play along the way too and says he will be the Huskies No. 1 fan when the teams are not playing each other.
“I’m going to miss all those kids and I wish nothing but the best for them. I love them like sons,” Baik said. “I’m going to be their biggest fan.”
News of his appointment broke on Friday, a few hours before the Huskies were presented national championship mementos from both MaxPreps and USA Today. He didn’t want to talk about the new job then and take away from the attention he wanted on his now former players.
Baik had been with the Huskies for nine years, the last six of those as head coach.
With all the festivities honoring his team taking place Baik acknowledges there was never going to be a “good” time to resign or announce a new position which is also why he considered not coaching the next school year.
“Opportunities like this don’t come around often,” he said. “I felt like I had to jump at it but will always be grateful for my time at Chino Hills.”