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Menlo's Schoof wins state baseball coach honor

 

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Menlo School baseball coach Craig Schoof, whose team captured its second straight Central Coast Section Division III title this spring, has been named the ESPN Rise/Cal-Hi Sports State Coach of the Year in the small schools division.

"Schoof deserves a lot of credit for setting up as difficult a schedule as he can for the Knights. This is partly because the CIF Central Coast Section only has three divisions for its baseball playoffs so Menlo often is playing bigger schools (according to enrollment) in the playoffs," Harold Abend of ESPN Rise wrote.

Menlo won its second straight CCS Division III title after beating Santa Cruz, 4-0. The Knights finished the season 26-5 overall and No. 2 in the state Division III rankings behind Escalon (28-3), according to the final Cal-Hi Sports state list.

Menlo went 51-11 while capturing its back-to-back section titles.

"This was a special group of guys, nothing seemed to faze them and they always played the game the right way," Schoof said.

Menlo also won section championships in 2010, 2004, 1989 and 1988 -- all under Schoof -- to become one of only four baseball teams in CCS history to win five or more section championships.

In Schoof's 24 years during two stints at Menlo, his teams have won 15 league titles. He is entering his 32nd year as a history teacher and his 12th year as athletic director.

Schoof is the first coach from the CCS to be picked as Small Schools Coach of the Year since Mike Kelly of Carmel in 2005.

Perhaps ironically, Menlo eliminated Carmel in the CCS semifinals this spring.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Pam McKenney of Menlo School

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