You might say Steve Hiskey has covered both ends of the spectrum during his high school coaching career, as well as several shades in between.
He started out as a teacher and baseball coach at Lynwood High School in 1970 and continued through four decades at Brea Olinda.
Hiskey retired from the classroom in 2009, but didn’t close the book on his passion for coaching. He’s in his second season as the girls’ golf coach at Rosary Academy and plans to spend one more spring in the dugout, back where it all started at Lynwood High.
“I’m going back to my roots,” he says.
Hiskey won’t completely put a bow on his coaching career, however. He plans to continue guiding the golfers at Rosary, who are already knee deep in competitive Trinity League play.
The Royals are led by junior Caroline Cantlay, who finished fourth in the Trinity League last season, sophomore Lauren Labow, who finished ninth, and freshman Chayse Gomez, who shot an even-par 35 in her nine-hole high school debut last month at Western Hills Country Club in Chino Hills.
“We’ve been playing really consistent golf and we’re much improved over what we’ve been the last couple years,” Hiskey says. “We think we’re going to be in the mix.”
Hiskey admits he doesn’t know as much about golf as he does about baseball, but that’s no surprise considering he’s spent the last 44 years coaching the latter.
Hiskey ran the baseball program at Brea Olinda for 29 years, watching players arrive, develop, graduate and go on to start families of their own. He also led the boys’ varsity volleyball squad for five seasons and then took over the girls’ golf team for another seven seasons.
“It was a good experience. It kind of rounded out my coaching resume,” Hiskey says of his decision to coach a girls’ team after so many years coaching just the boys. “My family’s all boys and I never got involved in a girls’ sport, but I’ve always been looking for different challenges and, obviously, that was one. The girls’ golf program at Brea Olinda had only been in existence for one year, so it was kind of like, ‘OK, we’ll get something new rolling.’”
If teaching and coaching didn’t keep him busy enough, Hiskey also served as athletic director at Brea Olinda on four different occasions, more than once on an emergency basis.
“I don’t want to do this, but I’m the guy who knows what has to happen,” Hiskey would think to himself.
Even after retiring from teaching, Hiskey couldn’t give up his love for coaching. He swapped places with the girl’s junior varsity golf coach and began serving as an assistant coach at Estancia High in Costa Mesa, helping one of his former players at Brea Olinda.
Hiskey’s daily drive to Brea would take him past Rosary High School in Fullerton, so when he saw a help wanted ad on the Southern Section website seeking a head coach for the girls’ golf team, he figured he was going that direction anyway.
Hiskey was also interested in the Rosary job because he attended an all-boys’ Catholic school in Los Angeles and the situation reminded Hiskey of his upbringing.
“I thought it was a good fit and, so far, it has been,” he says.