Baseball coach with a Yankee past

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Bernard Chen , Sports Editor

After two years of professional baseball, Jon Hurst has taken his talents to Diamond Bar High School, where he will be taking on the role of varsity baseball head coach. Hurst previously played in the Yankees minor league system and later became the coach of various high school and college teams in California.

Hurst began playing baseball as a Little Leaguer and then played at El Modena High School in Orange. He played college baseball at UC Irvine. After graduating from college, Hurst was signed by the Yankees in 2011 and assigned to the Tampa Yankees in Florida as catcher and outfielder.

Hurst later played one year of independent baseball, professional baseball without affiliation with any major league teams. He signed to the Traverse City Beach Bums in Michigan in 2012, was traded to the San Rafael Pacifics in San Francisco, and then purchased by the St. Paul Saints in the same year.

Coming back home to Orange County after, Hurst began to work locally, coaching a variety of high school and youth teams. He coached baseball at Cypress College, where he previously attended junior college, started a youth travel ball program called the OC Breakers, coached at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana for a year, and returned to El Modena to coach in 2014.

“I’m proud. I’m very proud of what I’ve done. I’m very excited about getting the opportunity to coach high school kids because it’s something that allows me to give back and I think there’s a lot of things that I’ve learned that I can pass on to them. I think it’ll be a great opportunity for both of us,” Hurst said.

Hurst hopes to pass on his talent and skill to DBHS’ baseball team.

“Baseball is definitely my forte, and I definitely take a lot of my theories and philosophies away from college and professional baseball. A lot of the values I gained playing in college and professionally are things that I think I can use here as well.” Hurst said.

Additionally, Hurst was also hired to teach AP Economics and regular Economics at DBHS. Initially not knowing his desire to teach, he found inspiration in his travels throughout the country during his professional baseball career.

Experiencing new cultures and differing ways of life, Hurst realized he loved learning about the various histories, values, and backgrounds of places. Since history was something he took joy in learning, he found teaching the social sciences to be just as enjoyable.

Overall, playing in the Yankees system was the best experience for Hurst, but since arriving at DBHS, he has grown to enjoy teaching as well and hopes to grow in the profession. As the head coach, he also looks forward to building a successful baseball program.

“I really enjoy interacting with the kids and watching them grow. That’s what I’m here to do,” Hurst said. “Education is something that I’ve always put great value in. I consider myself a lifelong learner, and I hope that’s a value I can instill in the students in my class.”