Prep sports may be on hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but two county high schools have been busy organizing their coaching staffs.
Both Providence and Santa Ynez High have announced the hiring of new coaches for the 2020-21 school year.
Susie Garachochea, a former Pepperdine and professional volleyball star, has been hired as Providence’s new head girls’ volleyball coach.
She spent 14 years coaching high school volleyball after completing her professional career in Heidelberg, Germany. She coached the junior varsity at her alma mater, Santa Monica High, for seven years before serving for seven more as the head coach at Lighthouse Christian Academy.
Garachochea, who currently works as a health and wellness instructor at Gold’s Gym, guided the Saints to consecutive CIF-Southern Section Division 5A championships in 2004 and 2005, earning CIF Coach of the Year honors.
“Providence has been such a blessing to my family,” she said. “I would love to somehow be able to give back to an organization that has impacted my family in such a profound and positive way.”
Santa Ynez also has a new girls volleyball coach in Amelia Brown, as well as a new boys basketball coach in Walter Tyler.
Brown, a former All-State player at San Luis Obispo High, starred as a middle blocker at Cal Poly where she helped the Mustangs win the Big West Conference championship.
She teaches agriculture classes at Santa Ynez High and has helped coach the Pirates’ freshman and junior varsity programs. She replaces Tom Wright, who is stepping down as varsity coach after 15 years at Santa Ynez.
“She is a positive role model for all of our students, and has excellent rapport with staff, students, and parents,” Santa Ynez athletics director Ashley Coelho said. “I’ve observed Amelia coach this last season and I know that her skillset, positive energy, and love of the game will make our program successful.
“Her enthusiasm for the sport is infectious.”
Tyler takes over for Ray Vazquez, who coached the Santa Ynez boys basketball team for the last two years. His resume includes 10 years coaching youth basketball, which includes the Lompoc Basketball Academy. He’s also coached freshman basketball and varsity track and field at Cabrillo High School.
“Walter Tyler is an excellent candidate for this position because he puts student-athletes first and wants to create a positive culture that is rich with Pirate Pride and a sense of family,” Coelho said. “He grew up in the area and values community.
“He draws a lot of his inspiration for coaching from John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success. He has a vision for the boys basketball program that I strongly believe in, and I know the program will succeed under his leadership.”