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Mark Samford resigns as Crescenta Valley High softball coach

Softball: Citing personal reasons, coach step downs after leading Falcons to two postseason appearances in two seasons at the helm.

May 30, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

After leading the Crescenta Valley High softball team to the playoffs in each of his two seasons as head coach, Mark Samford resigned Thursday.

Citing personal reasons in which he declined to elaborate, Samford guided Crescenta Valley to a record of 34-17-1 overall and 21-7 in the Pacific League. The Falcons finished tied for second in league both seasons.

“It’s just some stuff in my personal life that I’m dealing with and it’s got nothing to do with softball,” said Samford, who was named the team’s interim coach for the 2012 campaign after legendary coach Dan Berry passed away in 2011. “I have to invest more time elsewhere.

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“I didn’t kick around the idea of resigning very long. I love softball, but there are other things in life that take precedent.”

Samford had the interim tag removed shortly after the 2012 season. He’s served as head coach of the school’s frosh/soph boys’ basketball team for 10 seasons and as an assistant on the boys’ varsity squad for the past eight seasons under Shawn Zargarian. Samford said he’s planning to remain on board in each basketball capacity.

The Falcons finished 20-6, 11-3 in league on the diamond in 2012 before losing in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs. They followed that up in 2013 with a mark of 14-11-1, 10-4 before suffering a 3-1 loss to La Salle in a Division III wild-card road contest.

Samford said it was a privilege to coach the softball team, even with the arduous task of trying to fill the gigantic void left after Berry died.

“There’s a rich tradition with this program because of coach Berry,” Samford said. “A lot of excellent players have come though the program.

“No matter what sport I have coached, I’ve been fortunate to be around better players. It was satisfying to see the players come together on the field the last two years and achieve some things.”

Crescenta Valley girls’ Athletic Director Peter Kim said it wasn’t clear who would be in line to succeed Samford. Kim said the search for a new coach would begin immediately.

“We are going to be patient about it,” Kim said. “There should be a line of good candidates.

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