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Baseball Long Beach Poly

Breaking: Long Beach Poly Hires Martin Rodriguez As Next Baseball Coach

The Long Beach Poly administration announced to parents Wednesday that they’ve hired former Cerritos coach Martin Rodriguez to be the Jackrabbits’ next baseball coach. Rodriguez replaces Brent Lavoie, who coached the Jackrabbits to three of the last four league titles but who was fired at the end of this season.

Lavoie’s dismissal was controversial, with several Long Beach baseball coaches speaking out against it (after having voted Lavoie Moore League Coach of the Year), and several members of the Poly baseball booster club speaking at Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education meetings to protest the decision. Lavoie spent much of the 2023 season on leave as his Jackrabbits put up a historic undefeated Moore League championship. The school and Lavoie have both declined further comment regarding the decision.

Rodriguez inherits a potentially fraught situation with fences needing to be mended between the school and its parents/boosters (as well as a field that’s currently deemed unplayable)–but also a great situation regarding the baseball program and its roster. Poly has won three of the last four league titles and is packed with young talent including eight varsity returners from last year’s undefeated league champs, with another strong freshman class in for the 2024 season.

Rodriguez comes to Poly from Cerritos High, where he was the head coach in 2022 after serving as a varsity assistant and associate head coach from 2014-2021. A Gahr graduate, Rodriguez played for Tom Bergeron and is an architect and high school engineering teacher. Rodriguez coached at Buena Park last year while pursuing his Masters in Education.

Per an email from Poly assistant principal Michael Crowder-Jones to Poly baseball parents, the school will resume its tryout and returning player workout schedule over the next two weeks, with construction on the currently shut-down Gwynn Family Field at Poly due to begin on August 21.

This is a breaking story and will be updated. We’ll have more from coach Rodriguez in the coming days.

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.