Esperanza baseball coach Mike Curran

Esperanza's Curran announces retirement


Mike Curran announced his retirement as Esperanza’s baseball coach after the team’s loss in the CIF-SS playoffs Tuesday.

Curran, 65, coached Esperanza for 37 seasons. His record there was 651-326-6. Curran’s wins total is second most in Orange County history, trailing only Dave Demarest, who won 753 games at La Quinta from 1973-2007.

Among his many career awards was his induction into the National High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2011.

Curran informed Esperanza’s players of his decision after the team’s 1-0 loss to Murrieta Mesa on the Division 1 playoffs.

“It’s time to turn the page and hand Esperanza baseball over to someone younger,” Curran said.

Curran coached the Aztecs to CIF-SS championships in 1986, ’93 and ’97. His teams won 13 league championships, including the Crestview League title this season, and qualified for the playoffs in 25 of his 37 seasons.

Esperanza finished 20-10 this year. The Aztecs beat Tustin, 1-0, in the first round of the playoffs.

Demarest said he long has admired Curran and Esperanza baseball.

“When you played Esperanza,” Demarest said, “you’d better know how to play defense and offense and do everything else possible because Mike was always ahead of the game. He always got the most out of talent.”

Coaches with Curran’s resume sometimes don’t stay retired for long. Several county high school and community college baseball coaching staffs have assistant coaches who retired as head coaches.

“I’m definitely taking one year off,” Curran said. “Then we’ll see how it goes.”

Before taking the Esperanza job in 1983, Curran coached at St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs, his alma mater, for 10 seasons. He had 100 wins there.

Add the St. Paul wins to his Esperanza total and Curran’s 751 wins is the seventh-most in California history. John Stevenson, who coached El Segundo, 1960-2009, is the state leader with 1,059.

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