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34 Eric Valenzuela
Eric  Valenzuela

Assistant Coach



Toreros host Saint Mary's for three beginning Friday

USD has won three straight heading into key WCC series



Another former Torero Assistant takes a head coaching job.


USD to Host No 24 Nevada, then Travel to SMC this Week

USD will take on No. 24 nevada at 6 p.m. Monday, then resume WCC play at Saint MAry;s this weekend.



Another former Torero Assistant takes a head coaching job.

Eric Valenzuela, a key component in the success of San Diego baseball and the development of USD's pitching staff, begins his sixth season as an assistant coach for the Toreros in 2009. Valenzuela made an immediate impact during his first season at USD in 2004. Under his direction the Torero pitching staff led the West Coast Conference in team ERA. All four graduating pitchers from his 2004 staff went on to sign professional contracts at season's end.

Valenzuela continues to recruit and develop some of the nation's top amateur players. Valenzuela spearheaded the recruiting efforts for the 2008 USD recruiting class that was ranked the nation's best by Baseball America. He was also the catalyst for the 2006 recruiting class that was among Baseball America's Dandy Dozen.

In 2008, under Valenzuela's guidance, the Torero pitching staff ranked fourth in the nation in strikeouts (566), fourth in fewest walks (149) and seventh in ERA (3.40). Valenzuela also guided Brian Matusz to the No. 4 overall pick in the MLB draft and also had Josh Romanski (4th round) and Ricardo Pecia (6th round) drafted as well.

Valenzuela helped guide the Toreros to the first 40-win season in program history in 2007 with a 43-18 overall record, as well as a program-best No. 4 national ranking and a No. 8 national seed in the NCAA Tournament. He helped guide three pitchers to All-American status in 2007 and 2008 as well as helping guide Brian Matusz to the WCC Pitcher of the Year and the No. 4 overall pick in the 2008 MLB draft. Also under his tutelage, USD has had three pitcher's, Matusz Josh Romanski (2007) and AJ Griffin (2008) named to Team USA.

A native of Covina, Valenzuela returned to Southern California after serving as an assistant coach at St. Mary's College for two seasons (2002 & 2003). While at St. Mary's, Valenzuela coordinated much of the team's community programs, including directing youth camps and clinics. Valenzuela served as the Gaels third base coach, managed recruiting efforts and also directed the team's strength and conditioning program. Valenzuela's background in developing young talent includes managing the pitching staff of the Brewster White Caps of the Cape Code League in 2003.

Valenzuela garnered All-America honors as a prep athlete at Bishop Amat High School and went on to accept a baseball scholarship at Arizona State University where he was a member of the Sun Devil's 1998 College World Series team. After transferring to Pepperdine, Valenzuela would be honored as the Wave's team captain his senior year, leading Pepperdine to the 2001 West Coast Conference Championship title.

Valenzuela graduated from Pepperdine in 2001 with a B.A. in Criminal Justice. His father, Victor, was an assistant boxing coach for the United States in the 1984 Olympic Games and currently runs the Duarte Boxing Club in Duarte, Calif. His sister, Nicole Valenzuela, was a member of the USD softball team from 2005-08. Valenzuela, his wife Betty and one-year-old daughter Catalina Esmie reside in San Diego.

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