Eric Valenzuela was officially introduced as the new Long Beach State Dirtbags head coach on Friday at Bohl Diamond at Blair Field, and he brought the rest of his coaching staff with him.
Valenzuela and LBSU athletics director Andy Fee both confirmed that associate head coach Bryan Peters, assistant coach Daniel Costanza and volunteer assistant coach Ross Gusky will join Valenzuela at LBSU after they coached together at Saint Mary’s.
“It was a 30 second conversation,” Valenzuela said about choosing to bring his coaches with him to Long Beach. “I knew we were going to bring the best coaches here, and we have. We’re going to develop these players individually, and once you get that down you can build a team on fundamentals.”
Valenzuela said he will continue to put his team through high-energy practices that will be open to the public.
“It’s a departure from the past,” Fee said of not having a former Dirtbag on the staff. “But we’re committed to honoring that legacy. Coach Valenzuela has reached out to Tulo, Giambi and others… I want the alums to know that they’re always going to be welcomed here and they have a home. I think they’ll find that coach Valenzuela is about as Dirtbags as you can get with work ethic and values.”
Peters has been an offensive coach for more than 20 years, but only worked with Valenzuela at Saint Mary’s last season where they led the conference in hitting. The Gaels were top three in the WCC in batting average, runs, hits, doubles, home runs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage last season.
Costanza has worked his way up on Valenzuela’s staff since starting as the director of baseball operations at Saint Mary’s in 2014. He was promoted to assistant coach in 2017.
Gusky has spent the past three years as the volunteer assistant coach at Saint Mary’s.