After nine years as an assistant on the St. Francis High School baseball team, Aaron Milam finds himself in charge of steering the Golden Knights program back on track after Brian Esquival’s abrupt and mysterious resignation last week.
St. Francis school officials have been quiet about what led to Esquival’s resignation, and Esquival, who had been at the helm for four seasons, has not return phone calls seeking comment.
Milam’s job right now is to help the program move forward.
“There’s been some turmoil,” he said. “It hasn’t been easy, but the school has given us a lot of support and we have a good group of parents who are behind us the whole way.”
It’s been a roller coaster ride for St. Francis (4-6, 1-2) since reaching the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 finals where they lost in extra innings to Foothill at Anaheim Stadium.
The Mission League in particular hasn’t been kind to St. Francis, but a 6-2 win over Notre Dame earlier this week was an encouraging sign that the Golden Knights can still compete in one of the toughest leagues in Southern California. St. Francis will have its chance to go against local competition in the upcoming Apache Invitational at Arcadia High.
Milam’s appointment to interim head coach of the Golden Knights has provided a sense of continuity, and it’s apparent that his loyalty is to St. Francis. Milam started as an assistant under Mike Solar in 2003 and chose to stay at St. Francis despite Solar’s attempt to bring him on staff upon taking the same position at Alemany in 2008.
So it’s no secret that when the dust settles, Milam would like nothing more than see the interim tag removed.
“I am very proud and pleased to be part of their community,” said Milam, who works as an engineer by day. “I wen to La Salle in 1999 and I’m still attached to that place, but I’ve been a member of the St. Francis family for nine years. There’s a reason why I didn’t leave when (Solar) left for Alemany.
“I would like to continue as the full time head coach. I don’t expect the school to make a hire right now because there’s a lot of issues that need to be worked out. But I’ll stay at any capacity that they have me.”