Point Loma High athletic director John Murphy didn’t have to go very far to hire the school’s new varsity baseball coach. He needed only go as far as the green turf of the campus’ Bennie Edens Field.
There, he found 1968 Pointer graduate Joe Radovich busily putting defensive backs through spring drills as he has done for the last eight years while a member of the football staff.
Radovich said he was thrilled to accept Murphy’s offer after first consulting with a key stakeholder — his wife.
Radovich had been able to spend more time at home with his wife following his retirement as a vice principal in the Poway Unified School District. But instead of balking at her husband’s new job opportunity, Radovich’s wife simply said, “Go for it.”
Murphy introduced Radovich to parents of baseball players May 29 at an evening meeting.
“My wife told me I’ve come full circle in coaching after 41 years,” said the affable alum. “I started my coaching career at Point Loma right out of college, first as an assistant football coach (1972) with Bennie Edens and then as an assistant with the 1973 baseball team.”
That would be the same baseball team that won a CIF championship and was recently feted at the annual Pointer baseball fundraising banquet.
Since then, Radovich has built a resumé that includes decades of youth baseball coaching and separate five-year stints as head coach at Madison and University City high schools.
His University City team captured the 2007 CIF Championship, batting .334 as a team en route to a 22-11 record and an 8-6 win over St. Augustine in the title game.
The veteran coach is already busy making plans for his first Pointer team.
“Baseball is a game I grew up playing,” he said. “I’m going to do the best I can and the first thing I have to do is bring in coaches. I’m working on that, and I haven’t even talked to all the coaches that are presently on the staff.”
Once the staff is assembled, Radovich said he plans to put his strengths in motion.
“I think my strongest asset is coordinating coaches to coach kids,” he said. “At University City, I worked with the outfielders and catchers, helped with the hitting and setting up the stations we run (in practice).”
Radovich said he understands his role in returning the Pointer baseball program to respectability.
“Point Loma’s my home,” he said. “For me, it’s coming back home. I just want a solid program for the community. That’s what it’s always been and what it should be.”
• Radovich excelled in football and earned first-team All-CIF honors in 1968 as an outfielder for the Pointer baseball team.
• He played baseball at Mesa College before the University of Pacific offered him a full-ride scholarship in football.
• Before retiring, Radovich commuted daily for many years from Poway to the PLHS campus for football practices.
• Radovich lives in Clairemont and said he plans to continue coaching “as long as it’s fun.”