Brad Meza- Head Varsity Coach
Valencia Head Coach Brad Meza enters his first 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.
“I have had some great mentors and coaches in my journey to this point- I am excited and ready to start my next chapter as the head of the Valencia Baseball Program,” said Coach Meza. “Last season didn’t end the way Valencia baseball would’ve hoped for but, with the help of the coaching staff and our senior group, we have shifted our culture with the confidence to go out and be competitive day in and day out.”
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 is currently works in Special Education as an Instructional Assistant at Valencia High School.
Jake Sandoval- Assistant Varsity Coach
Jake Sandoval, 2014 Valencia Alumni, returns to Valencia as an assistant varsity coach. Coach Sandoval, a former infielder, played three years of baseball at Valencia before continuing his playing and academic career at L.A. Mission College. This is Sandoval’s second year coaching at Valencia. In his first stint with the program, Jake lead the 2017 Frosh Vikings to a League Championship.
“Jake’s knowledge and passion for the game of baseball has been a real attribute to the program. He has played with and learned from some of Valencia Baseball’s great players,” said Coach Meza. “We have given Jake the task of working with infielders as well as hitters. His Driveline and Rapsodo certified knowledge has been a great addition to the program.”
After Mission College, Sandoval moved on to play NAIA baseball at Shepherd University before the program was disbanded. Jake has coached travel baseball in this valley for the last six years. He is currently pursuing a career in the studios industry.
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 joins the Valencia varsity staff for the 2022 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 in 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. Coach Kutcher, former three sport high school athlete, assisted the Saugus varsity team from 2016 to 2019. Valencia Baseball welcomes Coach Kutcher to the program.
Rob Utz- Assistant Varsity Coach
The 2022 season will mark Coach Rob Utz’s sixth season on staff at Valencia High School. Coach Utz, the former La Habra Highlander, has earned many honors throughout his playing career. Some include Freeway League Pitcher of the Year, as well as two California Junior College State Championships. Valencia Baseball is blessed to have this former high school and college standout on staff for the 2022 season.
“Coach Utz’s dedication to building a culture of ‘team before self’ has been a big asset to the program. His work with the pitching staff/ outfielders has shown in our players abilities to make fast adjustments to their game,” said Coach Meza. “Rob’s ability to coach up and build relationships with many different styles of players is a special quality.”
Coach Utz lives in Valencia with his wife of 25 years, Traci, and their two kids Madi and Tyler. Madi, former Valencia volleyball stand out, has recently graduated from The University of California San Diego (UCSD). Tyler is currently a senior Viking infielder who is looking forward to the ’22 season as well as his future college plans. The current Rental Salesman in the construction heavy equipment business continues to show his passion for the game and Valencia High School.
Tim Pennell- Assistant Varsity Coach
Coach Tim Pennell returns to the Valencia coaching staff for his 9th 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 that has returned to the staff for the 2022 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 in the Santa Clarita Valley, is a campus supervisor at Rio Norte. Coach Pennell and his wife of fifteen years, Veronica are Valencia natives. His insight on current and future players is priceless.
Pat Meza- Head JV Coach:
Head JV Coach Pat Meza, father of Brad and Ricky, joins the Valencia Baseball program after his seven seasons at Hart High School splitting time between both JV and Frosh teams. 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 our country for many years.
“Coach Senior has a passion for teaching young athletes the fundamentals and metal side of the game. His competitive nature and leadership make for a good role model for our young players,” said Coach Meza. “He, along with the rest of the Junior Varsity staff, is entrusted with preparing these young players in their final stop before moving on to the Varsity.”
Meza, a coordinator for Lawyers Title Company in Burbank, has been married to Gina for 35 years and they have raised four children together. His passion for coaching, competitive nature, and sheer athleticism are seen in all four children.
Ricky Meza- JV Assistant Coach
Entering the 2022 season, Coach Ricky Meza will be taking the role of JV pitching coach. The younger brother of program head coach, Brad Meza, Ricky begins his coaching career with a high upside and enthusiasm for teaching young pitchers how to compete. His communication skills with the young players are unmatched.
“The former L.A. Mission College pitcher brings an infectious energy to this year’s group of JV players,” said Coach Meza. “We have seen enormous strides in our young pitching staff since Coach Ricky has come on board. His future in coaching is extremely bright.”
Ricky is currently attending classes at College of the Canyons with aspirations to move on to a four-year university. His passion and determination for journalism will one day lead him to a career in on-field sports reporting.
Bob Reyes- JV Assistant Coach
Coach Bob Reyes has been pulled out of retirement from baseball to help assist our 2022 JV Vikings. Reyes returns to the Viking dugout for the first time since the early 2000s. Coach Reyes, a former LA CITY Fireman, has guided generations of student-athletes throughout his coaching career. Before retiring from coaching, Bob spent roughly 18 years coaching lower-level baseball at Hart High School.
“Coach Reyes is a great communicator with young athletes,” said Coach Meza. “Four of our coaches in the program, myself included, have had the pleasure of playing for Coach Reyes. We are very lucky to have pulled him from retirement to help with our upcoming JV team.”
Reyes, a former ALL-CIF catcher at St. Genevieve, brings a great balance of fun and discipline to the job. Bob, and his wife Patty have four children who were all stand-out athletes at Hart High School in their day.
Brooks Stately- Frosh Head Coach
In his first-year coaching, Brooks Stately is trusted with leading the young Frosh Vikings as their head coach. Coach Stately, a former infielder, played four years at Hart High School starting as a Freshman on the JV team. The 2018 graduate won two league titles in his time in the black and red.
“We couldn’t be happier to have Coach Stately come over to the purple and gold,” said Coach Meza. “He has stepped into a role that not many would at his age. His knowledge of the game and willingness to learn more about coaching is a unique asset.”
Stately, who had the opportunity to walk on to play at CSUN, shifted gears to concentrate on his career. He strives to become an EMT and Fireman. His work ethic is shown on and off the field as he has balanced working, going to school, and taking on the role of Head Frosh Coach.
Judah Silverman- Frosh Assistant Coach
Another first-year coach, Judah Silverman, is a passionate individual when it comes to teaching the game of baseball the right way. The former left-handed pitcher at Hart High School has taken on the role of pitching coach for the Frosh level. He was one of the many athletes whose senior year was taken by the 2020 canceled season.
“I was lucky to have had the opportunity to coach Judah during the 2020 shortened season,” said Coach Meza. “We are thrilled to have Coach Silverman come over to help our young Vikings in building confidence in all that they do.”
The current sophomore in college is studying to receive a Bachelor in Radiation Therapy. His plans include a possible transfer to a four-year university to achieve his goals. We are proud to have such a driven and focused young role model for our Frosh players.