As the 2020 Cerritos College baseball get closer to starting, there will be a new face leading the program. Vic Buttler, who spent the last four seasons as the head coach at Westchester High, and was penciled in to be an assistant coach with the Falcons this season, will take over the reins.
"For the upcoming baseball season of 2020, we have named Vic Buttler as the interim head coach," stated Cerritos College Dean of Athletics Rory Natividad. "This was a result of minimum standards set by the state of California and the college for co-curricular programs, such as athletics."
A product of Westchester High, Buttler played at El Camino College after being drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 39th Round out of high school. He decided to play for the Warriors, and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 14th Round after the 2000 season and signed. A 10-year professional career saw him advance as high as AAA in 2006 and he responded by batting .316 in 20 games that season.
Although this serves as his first collegiate head coaching assignment, Buttler states that he's ready for the challenge that comes with running a college program. "My coaching philosophy focuses on building quality characteristics, player development, and life skills through the sport of baseball," stated Buttler. "My coaching staff and I will do our job developing these young student-athletes both on and off the baseball field. I will emphasize three key qualities with our players; Attitude, effort, and energy. I believe to be successful in any aspect of life, an individual must have the right mindset. Possessing a positive attitude and putting your best foot forward day in and day out is necessary when striving for greatness."
With the baseball program steepened in rich history, Buttler states that he's spoken to several members of the alumni and is learning how things are done the "Bird Way". He even has two former Falcon players on his staff, Darrell Sherman and Tony Miranda. Sherman was part of the greatest team in Cerritos history in 1987, as they went 46-5, won the state championship and had seven players reach the major leagues, including Sherman, who played for the San Diego Padres. Miranda played for Cerritos from 1992-93 and helped the team win a conference title before playing for Cal State Fullerton and then in the Kansas City Royals system.
"In my short time as the interim head coach of Cerritos College, I've been studying the rich history of our baseball program," added Buttler. "I've been in contact with several alumni and I'm learning the "Bird Way." My goal is to revitalize what once was. I will serve Cerritos College, the city of Cerritos and surrounding communities to the best of my ability. I'll bring integrity, humbleness, passion, hard work, determination, and positive energy (to the program)."
A lifetime .271 batter who swiped 189 bases in his professional career, Buttler will work with several coaches to improve on the Falcons .257 team average in 2019. He will have six assistant coaches on his staff, including recently retired Major Leaguer Coco Crisp, who is a World Series champion, and will serve as the bench coach.
Not unfamiliar with Cerritos, Buttler played against the Falcons in 2000 when he was an All-American outfielder with El Camino. His return trip to Kincaid Field was expected to be as an assistant coach, but was then given the opportunity to run the Cerritos program. And that opportunity is not lost on Buttler.
Stated Buttler, "I'll never forget the moment I was offered the interim head coaching job at Cerritos College. I was filled with so much joy and excitement. I felt honored and beyond blessed to be running the show for such a historical baseball program. I've worked so hard in life for this moment and I will make the most of my opportunity. My love and respect for the game, my knowledge of the sport, my ability to instruct, dissect and teach the game the right way, my ability to work alongside other great coaches and administration is a great formula for success and I am excited for what's to come for our baseball program in the near future. I want to thank (college President/Superintendent) Dr. Jose Fierro, (Dean of Athletics) Rory Natividad, (Athletic Director) Maria Castro and Cerritos College in general for this amazing opportunity."
"We're excited to have Vic on board as our baseball coach for 2020, and look forward to a great season with the Falcons," said Castro.
The Falcons open the 2020 season hosting Fullerton College on January 24.
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