Santa Clara High School has its new Varsity Softball Head Coach. It wasn’t the world’s best-kept secret, but the program announced last week that it hired Julie Kawamoto to replace John Rahbar, who surprised many when he suddenly retired after 18 seasons compiling a 205-259-1 record.
“I am excited about getting the opportunity to be the head coach of the softball team at a school I have taken pride with and taught during the last 11 years,” Kawamoto said in a statement. “I know it will be no easy task taking over a program who had a coach of nearly 20 years but I am up for the challenge.”
“I truly can’t wait to coach the girls in a sport that I love. I will try and guide them through hard work, dedication, and commitment in hopes that they will also continue their future involving softball.”
With the job open, Kawamoto quickly rose to the top of the list as a potential replacement. This time, there was no hesitation on Santa Clara’s side. Kawamoto had plenty of support in the crowd for her arrival as the next head coach. Folksy and down-to-earth, Kawamoto seems as if she is the perfect fit for the workmanlike program.
The decision for Santa Clara to turn to Kawamoto now makes a lot of sense, and it does not come as a surprise. Once the job came open, Kawamoto seemed like the logical person for the Bruins to turn to as their next head coach. Kawamoto has been a teacher at Santa Clara and she has six seasons as an Assistant with the program on her resume, coaching the Junior Varsity program from 2007-09 and serving on the Varsity staff from 2012-14.
Kawamoto left Santa Clara to take over as Head Coach at Del Mar High School, where she was in charge of a massive rebuild. While the 13-38 record at Del Mar over two seasons isn’t exactly impressive, there was a vast improvement at a school that hasn’t had much success in softball. The success that Santa Clara had with Kawamoto on the staff for six seasons and her familiarity with life in Santa Clara, made too much sense; the Bruins knew they had to bring Kawamoto back into the fold.