Mike Rodriguez has stepped down as head coach of Central Valley High School’s boys and girls tennis programs.
“I would have had him do it forever if he wanted to,” said Hawks’ Athletic Director Greg Magni. “He’s an all-round great person. He’s so likeable. The kids respect him. He coaches because he loves it. He likes helping out. He’s a great mentor for our students.”
Rodriguez, 38, resigned to devote more time to his family.
Rodriguez and his wife Leslie have two children: Kennedy (7) and Lily (1).
“Coaching three sports is a grind,” said Rodriguez, who will continue to lead Central Valley’s boys basketball team and teach P.E. at the high school. “It’s a lot of work. My wife has been super supportive. There would be days I’d get to the school at 5:30 a.m. and I wouldn’t get home until 8 at night. She gets a lot of the credit for taking care of our kids when I’m gone.”
“Now, I have more time to spend with my family,” he added. “I get to be home for dinner. If my kids want to play, I get to play with them.”
Central Valley’s boys tennis team posted a combined record of 65-89, had five winning seasons and qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs three times during Rodriguez’s 13-year stint as head coach.
The Hawks advanced to the postseason in 2022, 2015 and 2014.
Central Valley’s girls tennis team finished 72-65, enjoyed five winning seasons and secured four postseason berths under Rodriguez’s guidance from 2010-22.
The Hawks qualified for the playoffs in 2018, 2017, 2015 and 2014.
“I enjoyed being out there with the kids,” Rodriguez said. “We had really good teams at both levels. We built some teams that were competitive. Credit to the kids for the work they put in.”
Rodriguez led both programs to new heights.
He had no coaching experience in the tennis world prior to being asked to lead Central Valley’s boys and girls teams.
“I got talked into doing tennis,” Rodriguez said. “I really enjoyed it. I had a blast. I didn’t know if we’d be competitive. Once we moved from the VOL to the WAC, we had some success. We were able to be competitive over the years. I’ll miss not being out there with the players. I love to coach.”
Rodriguez’s key to success was being able to recruit players on campus.
“He was able to generate student interest,” Magni said. “That’s what he was so good at. He’d carry rosters of 20-30 kids some years. The practices became competition. That’s how you get better. That created success in league matches.”