Randy Medina, who spent 11 seasons as Monrovia High School’s softball coach and led them to four consecutive Rio Hondo League titles from 2003 to 2006 and the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 playoffs in 2007, has stepped down along with his entire staff.
Medina said internal issues with a select few parents proved too much to handle, prompting him to resign two weeks after the regular season ended.
“I left the program better than the way I found it 11 years ago,” Medina said. “Maybe somebody else can take it further than what I had projected on my mind. My staff felt the same way. They were very disappointed in how the parents perceived the program. So we stepped down as a group. We thought Monrovia would be able to find a staff that was better suited for their parents.”
Medina, who has coached for 23 years, said a summer program was nonexistent before his arrival, starting a program and running one ever since 2001. Medina said “to my knowledge there’s no program right now.”
Before Medina, Monrovia had not won a game in three years and a league game in nearly a decade. The junior varsity program for the first time in school history brought home a Rio Hondo League title after going 20-1.
Still, it wasn’t enough, Medina said.
“The JV program had tremendous season, going 20-1,” he said. “Yet, still JV parents weren’t happy because they didn’t like this or didn’t like that. It was like, ‘Are you serious?’ We had one of the greatest season and kids are happy and kids can lift their heads up, and that was not good enough.”
Medina acknowledge that most, if not all, coaches deal with off-field issues. But Medina said “it was this season” when the problems started and that “it hasn’t been the last two or three years or anything like that.”
“Every coach has parents that are not happy, whose expectations are not met by you as a coach,” Medina continued. “At times they’re willing to let you know and you tell them where you’re coming from as a coach and where the program you think is going and where an individual lies as part of the team, and usually parents get on and move forward, or they don’t.
“My big problem was I had three parents who were not happy. They would talk about the program behind my back in adverse conditions. I think that hurt me the most. They were willing to talk about me, about my players and about my staff, sort of behind the team’s back. And that bothered me. It bothered me that my staff was being talked about as ineffective. That’s what hurt.
Medina’s staff included two JV coaches and two varsity assistants, including Dave Hart, who has been on board for a decade. Medina, the athletic director at Monrovia’s Clifton Middle School, served as an assistant for three seasons when Hart coached the varsity program.
“That really bothered me the most that they felt my staff was ineffective,” Medina said. “When saying that they’re talking about a 72-year-old gentleman who coached for 30 years and has intense love for the game. I got a teacher that’s been teaching and coaching for over 20 years, and a varsity coached that helped the JV program.”
Medina said his approach to coaching high school softball clashed with some.
“Our expectations was we wanted to do well in league and go as far as we can in CIF,” he said. “To an extent I like the extra intensity that goes into travel ball, and I’m all for that. But the players, most of them play travel ball year round with intense schedules with four or five games in a weekend. High school is to be with your friends. It’s a different mindset. It just came down to where it felt that they being the parents weren’t happy and things got back to me. It’s a small town. A lot of parents were on my side and they said people are saying this about you.”
Medina said he’ll take a year off from coaching and could be back in the softball scene a year from now. For now, Medina will take a break after an exhaustive process that led to his resignation.
“It was not an easy process,” he said. “It was hard. There was a of just “sit down” with myself and other coached I talked to that weren’t involved with Monrovia, that I’ve known over the years and talked about a lot of things. My administration didn’t ask me to resign, it was nothing like that. I just felt that maybe right now it was best to step down.”