Brad Meza- Head Varsity Coach
Valencia Head Coach Brad Meza enters his second season with Valencia Baseball. Coach Meza, former Hart High School player and coach, was a part of three league championship teams as a player (’12, ’14, ’15) as well as two league championship teams as an assistant coach (’18, ’21). In 2015 Coach Meza reached the CIF Div. 1 Championship as a player. Meza led the 2022 Vikings to a second place finish in league and a quarterfinal playoff finish.
“I have had some great mentors and coaches in my journey to this point- I am excited and ready for year two as the head of the Valencia Baseball Program,” said Coach Meza. “Last season didn’t end the way we would’ve hoped for but, with the help of the coaching staff and our talented mix of juniors and seniors, we are ready to make another push toward a league championship as well as an extended playoff run.”
Coach Meza played at Northern Arizona University for the Lumberjacks in the NCBA while attending his first two years of college and now he is finishing his teaching credential through The University of LaVerne. He currently works in Special Education as an Instructional Assistant at Valencia High School. Meza currently lives in Santa Clarita with his fiancée who is a history teacher at Hart High School as well as the Cheer Advisor.
Mitch Graff #6- Assistant Varsity Coach
Mitch Graff, a name that has been synonymous with Valencia Baseball for the past 19 years, continues his career as the assistant coach entering the 2022 season. Coach Graff, a 1984 National Champion as Cal State Northridge, has a long-standing knowledge of the game. After his time at CSUN Coach Graff continued to play adult league baseball until 2003.
“Coach Graff’s intelligence of the game and words of wisdom have provided players the necessary skills to compete, not only on the baseball field but in life as well,” said Coach Meza. “Number 6 has been a fixture at Valencia for many years. His tradition and passion for this program is inspiring.”
Coach Graff was inducted into the Pacific Coast Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005. This self-employed window cleaner has been married to his wife Suzanne for 31 years, has two daughters, and has resided in Castaic for the last 18 years. Valencia Baseball is lucky to have Coach Graff back for the 2022 campaign.
Randy Kutcher- Assistant Varsity Coach
Former big leaguer Randy Kutcher rejoins the Valencia varsity staff for the 2023 season. Coach Kutcher was drafted in 1979 out of Palmdale High School. Randy played from 1986 through 1990 for the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox. The former Palmdale Falcon showed off his athleticism, playing baseball, football, and basketball during his time at Palmdale High. This translated into Kutcher’s ability to play multiple positions in pro ball.
“The addition of Coach Randy has proven to be beneficial for hitters on all three levels. His time and dedication to the program has not gone unseen,” said Coach Meza. “Randy spends a lot of time in the cage sharing his knowledge of the game with our players. There has been a notable difference in our players since Kutcher has been working with them and we are lucky to have him.”
After retiring from the studios Randy made his way back into baseball as a well-respected coach through both travel and High School baseball. He runs the Storm Baseball scout program which has helped some of our players find a home at the college level. Coach Kutcher, former three sport high school athlete, assisted the Saugus varsity team from 2016 to 2019. Valencia Baseball is excited to have Coach Kutcher back in 2023.
Tim Pennell- Assistant Varsity Coach
Coach Tim Pennell returns to the Valencia coaching staff for his 10th year coaching high school baseball. Pennell’s coaching career began in 2013-2015 at Valencia before moving over to Saugus for the 2015-2020 seasons where he won three league titles as the JV Head Coach. The former Fresno State Bulldog has taken on many roles in the last couple of years- taking the reins of the JV program as well as helping assist the varsity program.
“Coach Pennell, another coach returning to the staff for the 2023 campaign, is a highly respected mentor and coach to all players past and present,” said Coach Meza. “All who have played or coached alongside Tim speak very highly of his abilities as a communicator and teacher. We are extremely blessed to have Coach Pennell’s knowledge of the game and team energy with us this season.”
Tim, also a travel ball coach for the Legacy Baseball Group, is a campus supervisor at Rio Norte. Coach Pennell and wife of fifteen years, Veronica are Valencia natives. His insight on current and future players is priceless. The program, as a whole, benefits immensely when Coach Pennell is around.
Chris Danielson- Assistant Varsity Coach
The Valencia Baseball Family would like to welcome Coach Chris Danielson to the Varsity staff as our new pitching coach. Coach Danielson, a Saugus High School graduate in 2013 with second team honors in the Foothill League. After a stint at Mission College, Chris took his career to Central Methodist University in Missouri. This is where Danielson holds the school pitching appearance record with 22.
“The addition of Coach Danielson has been a tremendous addition to the program,” said Coach Meza. “Our pitching staff has flourished since Coach Danileson’s daily presence at Valencia. His positive attitude toward the art of pitching and the game as a whole has been a breath of fresh air.”
Danielson began his coaching career as a private instructor, travel ball coach (ASAP/ Batrs), and High School baseball at Heritage Christian. Coach Danielson has proven to be a huge asset to this year’s varsity group. Chris is currently living in Saugus with his wife of two years, Alex.
Ricky Meza- JV Head Coach
Entering the 2023 season, Coach Ricky Meza will be entrusted with taking over as the skipper of the JV team. Younger brother of program head coach, Brad Meza, Ricky began his coaching career last season as the assistant to the JV League Champion team. His high upside and enthusiasm for teaching young pitchers how to compete is greatly appreciated. His communication skills with the young players is unmatched.
“The former L.A. Mission College pitcher brings an infectious energy to the 2023 JV team,” said Coach Meza. “We are certain that we will see enormous strides in our young players as the season progresses. The task of preparing players for the Varsity level is not an easy task, but we are sure that the work Ricky puts in will lead them to the next level.”
Ricky is currently attending classes at College of the Canyons with aspirations to move on to a four-year university in the near future. His passion and determination for journalism will one day lead him to a career in on field sports reporting. He is a well respected young coach in our program.
Will Trunky- Assistant JV Coach
New to the coaching world, Will Trunky, will be assisting the JV team in their endeavors to repeat as League Champions. The 2019 Saugus Graduate pitched for the Centurions in his time there. While in high school he also found himself on the mound for the Cubs scout team. He then proceeded to play one season of club ball at Arizona State.
“The addition of Coach Will has proven to have a positive impact on our young group,” said Coach Meza. “His willingness to stay after and work with players on their skills does not go unseen. His relationship with players will become a key factor to their success.”
Currently studying computer science, Will has aspirations to work in the tech industry in the foreseeable future. His drive to succeed is sure to lead him in a business management role.
Pat Meza- Head Freshman Coach:
Head Freshman Coach Pat Meza, father of Brad and Ricky, rejoins the Valencia Baseball program after a JV League Championship in 2022. Coach “Senior”, a veteran of the U.S. Army and Army National Guard, was a high school dual sport athlete excelling in both baseball and football. Meza had interest from the Montreal Expos right out of high school before injuries stalled his playing career. He then joined the U.S. Military and served out country for many years.
“Coach Senior has a passion in teaching young athletes the fundamentals and metal side of the game. His competitive nature and leadership makes for a good role model for our young players,” said Coach Meza. “He, along with the rest of the Freshman staff, is entrusted with preparing these young players for their remaining years in high school. We are excited to see our freshman team’s success.”
Meza, a coordinator for Lawyers Title Company in Burbank, has been married to Gina for 36 years and they have raised four children together. His passion for coaching, competitive nature, and sheer athleticism is seen in all four children.
Hans Hekking- Assistant Freshman Coach
Another new face will be patrolling the Viking dugout, Hans Hekking. Coach Hans, a three year varsity letterman at Poly High School, joins the talented Freshman team for 2023. After High School, the former Poly Parrot continued his playing career at Mission college. Once he made the decision to hang the spikes up, Hekking coached for five years before stepping away from the game.
“With the addition of Coach Hans, our new freshman group has become accustomed to the Valencia Baseball system of doing things the right way,” said Coach Meza. “His knowledge of the game and willingness to adapt has been a key factor in reinforcing our culture. This will prove to be a key factor for our program moving forward.”
Hans currently resides in Santa Clarita, has one daughter, enjoys golfing in his free time, and also works as a sales rep. He also coaches three different levels of travel baseball for TBI in Santa Clarita. His passion for coaching and teaching young players is a great addition to the program.