Congratulations to Coach Chris Ashbach for being inducted into the CIF Southern Section Hall of Fame 2022.
I had the great opportunity to interview Coach Ashbach on his achievement, and his backstory on how it all started.
“To me, it was more like a lifetime achievement award,” he told me.
As a young kid, Ashbach played baseball and soccer. In high school he played football for Capistrano Valley. After graduating he moved to baseball, playing one year in the Western League Minor League and deciding to concentrate on baseball after high school.
Ashbach’s coaching career started right out of college; he received his teaching and coaching credentials at Santa Clara University and then attended National University. He then received a teaching and coaching position for baseball at Mission Viejo in 1996, later becoming the head coach of the baseball team in 1997, which would be the start of a successful coaching journey.
Throughout the years, he has had a total of 404 wins. His coaching has led to two CIF Southern Section Championships and five league championships. Ashbach has made 16 CIF Southern Section Playoffs appearances, won CIF Southern Section coach of the year twice, and won the Orange County All-Star Game Coach 5 times. All of these achievements led up to his lifetime accomplishment of being awarded the CIF Hall of Fame award.
The new coach of MVHS boy’s baseball, Coach Holley, states how Coach Ashbach’s work ethic and his ability to get the most out of his players efficiently is something that he strives to replicate and follow through with. Coach Holley even says “Coach Ashbach is as deserving of the CIF Hall of Fame as anyone I’ve ever known. His success on the field is obviously deserving, but even moreso, his personality and willingness to help is beyond anything I would have expected. For me, he is not only a good friend and mentor but, at times, also a therapist. I truly don’t know how far I would have gone in this job if he wasn’t here helping me through it.”
Since his retirement in coaching at Mission Viejo High School, Coach Ashbach has been teaching here and spending time with his three kids. He is also currently coaching little league baseball, girl’s softball, and soccer as well. He is now teaching government and criminal/civil law, which is an elective course for sophomores and juniors.
He states that he is very lucky to have a lot of good players that went through Mission Viejo High School during his time at this school, including current Los Angeles Angels’ pitcher, Patrick Sandoval.
“Good teams [and] good coaches are made by good players, and we are fortunate here at Mission Viejo to have a lot of good athletes come through this school.”