Coach Altobelli deserves more respect from campus

I am disappointed in the season suspension of Orange Coast College’s head baseball coach John Altobelli. But I am even more disappointed in the lack of administrative support for a very good coach.

I have known Altobelli for the past couple of semesters. I am enrolled in his golf class and have only the highest respect and admiration for him. I have never seen him lose his temper. He is always patient, courteous, knowledgeable and professional in his treatment of students.

As a former high school player, many eons ago, I know how hard coaches work, the many unpaid hours they put in, and the many borderline calls they sometimes have to challenge. A coach would not be respected by the team if he did not back up his players. That is all part of the game.

Altobelli has recruited a fine group of outstanding young men and skillfully honed them into one of the best baseball teams ever fielded at OCC, and also a No. 1 ranking team. That is an outstanding accomplishment.

Coaches often skirt the line when challenging an umpire’s decision and coach Altobelli might have gone just over it this time. I remember one of my coaches that would throw a fit in almost every game. We all loved him because we knew he cared for us and for the team.

That is the impression I also have of Altobelli. He works very hard and he cares for the players. Perhaps a short suspension would have had some merit, but a season suspension serves no useful purpose. It demoralizes the team, interrupts the team’s concentration and the continuity of team spirit is shaken.

I know the OCC players really admire and respect their coach and so should all of us. Altobelli is not a hot-headed evil monster. He is a very nice individual, an excellent teacher, as is evident by his baseball team and he deserves our full admiration and respect.

Joe Cortez

Professor, machine technology

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