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Magni will direct Hawks
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He played baseball in high school with two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, shattered a pitching record at Cal State Stanislaus and served as an assistant coach at Ceres High School.

Greg Magni was named head coach of the Central Valley High baseball program on March 18. He will also teach English at the new $50-million high school, which opened in Ceres today.

"I set several goals for myself when I was in high school," Magni said. "I wanted to play four years of college baseball, become an English teacher and have my own baseball program. I've been fortunate to have accomplished all three."

"I'm expecting him to do well over there," said Tim Williams, Ceres High varsity baseball coach the last four seasons. "I'm going to root for him."

Magni, 27, spent four seasons on Williams' varsity staff. He was a pitching coach.

"I'm looking forward to starting something fresh," Magni said. "I plan on bringing in a solid staff to help me. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to watch it grow and develop."

Magni played for the Cal State Stanislaus Warriors for four seasons (1997-2000). The left-handed pitcher appeared in a team-record 88 games. Magni compiled an 11-10 record and accumulated six saves.

Magni graduated from San Mateo's Junipero Serra High School in 1996.

"The team I played on had five kids drafted for pro ball," he said.

Magni played varsity baseball as a senior and junior. He pitched.

"Just making the team was an accomplishment," he said. "I got cut my freshman year. It taught me a lesson on working a lot harder."

Magni earned a promotion midway throughhis junior year. He was moved up to varsity after compiling an 8-1 record for the JV team.

"I gave up a homer to Pat Burrell in the league championship game," Magni said. Burrell was selected first overall by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1998 Major League Baseball Draft.

Magni played at the varsity level full-time during his senior year. Serra, which ranked fifth in the nation at the beginning of the season, finished second in league and lost in the first round of the playoffs.

More than 60 Serra alumni have signed professional baseball contracts. Around 10 made it to the Major League, including most notably Jim Fregosi, Barry Bonds and Gregg Jeffries.

"A lot of my coaching ability comes from listening and being around such great talent," Magni said. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier