Add another to the Valley’s list of coaching resignations this offseason.
Baldwin Park coach James Heggins resigned on Tuesday, citing a difference in opinion with the school’s administration as to the direction of the program.
“It was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done, to stand in front of my guys and tell them that what my decision was and let them know it wasn’t their fault,” Heggins said. “Those guys had worked their tails off and did everything I’ve ever asked of them.
“It was purely a choice that I made that was something better for my family. Maybe one day when those guys have a family they’ll understand that the choices you make as an adult have to keep your family first and foremost.”
Heggins, a 1993 graduate of Baldwin Park who played at Mt. SAC and San Diego St.,
returned to his took over at his alma mater in 2005 after the school had gone 3-27 in its previous three seasons under Rick Ward 4-16 in its previous two seasons under Rick Ward.
The Braves made the playoffs in Heggins’ first year, won a share of the Valle Vista League title in 2007 and reached the postseason in five of Heggins’ seven seasons. Heggins overall at the school was 41-35.
“I never played a down in the time that I coached here,” Heggins said. “I tried to give all the credit to the kids. From the day I got here, the kids that we had committed to working hard and doing the things that it took to win football games. They deserve the credit for that.”
Heggins will remain a teacher at Baldwin Park and has accepted a position at Mt. SAC coaching the corner backs.
Aram’s take: Sad to see Coach Heggins go. You just knew that the district didn’t get it last year when it failed to hire Jim Arellanes for a PE job, allowing him to be an assistant on Heggins’ staff. That left Heggins to call the plays ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL for much of the season! From where the Braves program was when Heggins took over to where he took them was nothing short of a minor miracle. I’m not just talking wins and losses either. And it only happened because Heggins knew his alma mater and the type of kids who go there better than anyone. He took amazing pride in ownership of the program. He had things like an alumni game. He had former UCLA offensive coordinator and BP alum Michael Johnson out on occasion to help with certain events. Another example of what a great job that Heggins did is current Utah St. starting offensive tackle Oscar Molina-Sanchez, who was the first Latino player from BP to ever earn a D-1 scholarship.
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