The assistant coaching merry-go-round on the West Coast continued to spin this week, as San Diego State hired Eric Valenzuela away from rival San Diego, sources confirmed. Valenzuela replaces Rusty Filter as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, after Filter left last week for Stanford.
Valenzuela’s hire is still subject to official approval from the state college system, but no roadblocks are expected. The earliest the hire can be officially announced is Aug. 29. In the meantime, Valenzuela did confirm today that he has resigned his position at San Diego.
One of the top recruiters and pitching coaches on the West Coast, the 31-year-old Valenzuela is a rising star in coaching circles, and he has played a key role in building USD into an annual West Coast Conference power. But as a private school with a hefty pricetag and tough academic standards, USD cannot match San Diego State’s resources. The Aztecs have perhaps the best facility on the West Coast in Tony Gwynn Stadium, while San Diego’s Cunningham Stadium is in need of serious upgrades. Valenzuela is a natural fit for the Aztecs, as he is already a proven recruiter in the baseball hotbed of San Diego, and he’s a tireless worker with a track record of developing prime pitching talents like Brian Matusz, the No. 4 overall pick in last year’s draft.
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