Coach sets sights on building up baseball squad

Aaron Moore is a man on a mission.

His single-minded goal is to build Los Alamitos High School into one of the finest and most competitive baseball programs in Southern California.

When he took over as the school’s new head baseball coach a few short months ago, he set about his business by delivering a simple message–if you are going to play baseball here, get ready to compete hard in every part of the game.  It’s the only way he has played and coached baseball for more than 25 years.

Moore played college baseball at the University of Alabama Birmingham where he also earned a BS degree in Physical Education and a Masters in Education.  After graduating, he came back to Southern California and landed the head coaching job at Riverside Ramona High School.  After a three year stint, he came full circle and was hired on as the head coach of his old alma mater, Riverside Poly.

During the next 14 seasons, he guided Riverside Poly to a record of 270-106 and won the Big VIII Ivy League championship 10 times, making  it to the CIF semi-finals six times and CIF Finals three times.  In Moore’s second year, Poly reached the Division 2 championship, the program’s first title game appearance since 1924.  Moore continued a strong baseball tradition at Poly, which boasts alumni headed by none other than Bobby Bonds, father of major league baseball home run king Barry Bonds.  While at Poly, 50 boys playing under him went on to either college or pro baseball.

Now in his 18th year as a head coach, he likes the challenge of building a program that will incorporate much of what he has done in the past to be successful.

He has tapped into experienced coaches and players to help him, adding LAHS alum and former major league pitcher Greg Harris, Oklahoma State University player and former Riverside City College coach Cory Burton, and former CSUF player and Seattle Mariners’ prospect Ronnie Prettyman.

His philosophy is simple.

“We’re going to be fundamentally sound in all aspects of the game, and I have high expectations that my players will hustle and challenge other teams in all parts of the game, whether its pitching, defense or at the plate.

“I believe in old school baseball and our players will reflect that, both on and off the field, where I will expect them to conduct themselves as good citizens at all times.”

“If we do all these things, the wins and losses will take care of themselves.  Even though I am new to Los Alamitos, this is not a rebuilding year, I do expect to be successful right now, both on the field and off the field.  In the end, I think the kids will enjoy playing in the program and I think the parents will be very pleased with the results,” said Moore.

He has also set goals outside of the four teams in his program.

“This is a great sports community, and I want our baseball program to tap into that more.  If we do things right, we can get more than a thousand baseball players in the community on the same page, instilling a common baseball philosophy in kids at all ages,” added Moore.

He faces the additional challenge of trying to raise funds for a program and facilities that are visibly showing their age.  That’s created a long list of repairs and upgrades he is contending with at the same time he’s trying to get his teams ready for the season ahead.

“We need an infusion of money and lots of help from the community to make this program everything that it can be.  That’s going to take time, but I’m sure we’ll get there,” he added.

But until his mission is complete, chances are you’ll find Aaron Moore on a baseball field somewhere in the community, building a better baseball program, raising community pride and having a big impact on the lives of dozens of boys for years to come.