Some of Donny Warrecker’s earliest memories are likely from the Santa Barbara High School baseball field, and Warrecker said that his father, longtime coach Fred Warrecker, began bringing him to the diamond when he was still in diapers.
Fred Warrecker has coached the Dons for 42 years, and now the 76-year-old will be passing the reigns over to 38-year-old Donny, who has been an assistant coach on the team for the past decade.
“The high school was our playground,” Donny Warrecker said of growing up with Dons sports as a part of the family’s fabric. He has five older brothers, all of whom played sports, and Warrecker said he always knew he would play baseball for the Dons.
He did play for the team, and eventually played college ball for Allan Hancock College and UCSB before eventually returning to the high school. He also teaches in the same biology classroom that he studied in as a student.
Now, to be considered for the head coach position is “a real privilege and an honor,” he said.
The school’s leadership will be asking the Santa Barbara Unified Board of Education to approve the move. The board is expected to vote on the item this summer.
In a statement sent out Tuesday, Principal John Becchio called the elder Coach Warrecker “a legend in the history of Santa Barbara High and our community.”
“We are pleased that the next generation of Warrecker’s will continue their father’s good work,” Becchio said. “Donny will serve as head coach and his brother, Wes, will continue as a walk-on assistant coach.”
Warrecker said he felt it was a good time to take over and put his stamp on the program. His father will continue to advise the coaching staff.
If he approved to begin coaching in August, Warrecker said that aside from replacing his dad, he doesn’t expect much to change as far approach goes.
“We’re all about character and kids playing the game the right way,” he said.