Head Coach Tony Lucca-First pitch strikes, moving runners over, playing catch. Doing all the little things that make a difference. Team first. That’s the rock-solid baseball philosophy Coach Tony Lucca teaches from the first workout of fall practice to the last out of the season. “We’re going to play a baseball version of the ‘full-court press,’ put pressure on teams as much as we can,” says Lucca. “It’s up tempo, high speed, and a fun way to play the game.” Lucca knows first-hand the virtues of this brand of baseball, playing ball in Mike Garcia’s at Cañada in the mid-90s, when the Colts won the Coast Conference Championship. In 1995, Tony led the state in RBI (he still holds the record for single-season batting average at .458) and was named All American in 1996. Following his time at Cañada, he received a scholarship to Oklahoma State University, where he received 2nd Team All Big 12 honors. In 1998, he signed with the Florida Marlins, played three years in the organization and in 1999, he was named MVP of the Class A Affiliate Utica Blue Sox. He began his coaching career in 2001 at Cañada College, assisting then-coach Mike Garcia.
The Cañada Colts are extremely fortunate to have one of the finest, most experienced and enthusiastic coaching staffs of any JC in America. A bold claim? Take one look at their individual resumes and you will see why this statement is not a brag—but simple fact. It’s a staff that has played the game at its highest levels, on its biggest stages. Their collective professional, collegiate and high school experience—as both players and coaches—offers recruits a well-rounded “real-world” baseball education. Young men are treated like men—with an expectation of a strong work ethic in the classroom and on the field. It’s a coaching staff that stresses team first, weeding out “I” players and galvanizing a unit of “we players. Most important, each Colts coach is an excellent communicator; they love and respect the game and have fun teaching it. They want their ballplayers to have fun playing it.
TONY LUCCA (HEAD COACH)
TONY GOMES (HITTING COACH)
If Coach Lucca is the brains of the Colts, then Coach Tony Gomes is the heart and soul. The fiery first-base coach and hitting instructor enters his 9th year with Cañada, infusing hustle, pride, and a never-say-die attitude with each and every ballplayer. “His passion for the game, his professionalism rubs off on you,” says sophomore Max Kautz. “You want to play hard for him because that’s how he played.” Under “Gomie’s” guidance, the Colts consistently have one of the highest team batting averages in Northern California. Coach Gomes playing career as a hard—hitting smooth fielding first baseman was stellar—earning him 1st Team All-American honors in 1989, while playing at Cañada. Gomes then went on to star at San Francisco State, and then attained NABA glory with Reno Astros (Won NABA World Series in 2000) and the Willow Glen A’s (lead the team in hitting in 2003). Gomes has also acted as the hitting coach for the elite summer team, the Anchorage Blues—helping D1 stars such as Brian Peterson become Alaska’s leading hitter. In short, “Gomie” can still flat-out rake, and loves breaking down hitters to help them reach their potential.
GABE COSTELLO (ASSISTANT COACH-CATCHERS/BENCH)
Coach Lucca’s South San Francisco roots are shared by his new lieutenant, Coach Gabe Costello. Costello enters his first season on the Canada coaching staff, with the catcher and bench duties all under his purvey. “He is a great catching coach, he keeps us focused, and more importantly, he keeps us loos—he’s pretty funny,” says sophomore catcher Dan Camou. Coach Costello played his youth baseball in the fog, enshrouded in the hills of “South City” and his high school baseball for the legendary Bob Brian at South San Francisco High. It’s there where he Coach Lucca teamed up to win a two league championship as well as All-League honors. Costello went on to play at Skyline College, earning All-Coast Conference and MVP honors. After his playing days, Coach Costello returned to South San Francisco, taking over the JV baseball team for the next three years. He was the associate head baseball coach under Coach Brian, the following year helping the squad win a league championship. Costello also currently coaches with various youth organizations throughout the San Francisco Peninsula