From Player to Coach: Ed Trujillo and His Journey on Both Paths

Ed Trujillo left his mark as a player when he was hitting the ball, but now he is leading others in his role as a coach.

Players often find themselves in coaching roles down the road, and Trujillo found himself doing just that on the team he played for.

The Phoenix, Arizona native attended Glendale Community College for two years, which was the foundation for his future.

“I loved playing for GCC,” Trujillo said. “Those two years playing at GCC were very fun, competitive, intense and rewarding seasons.”

He then went on to play at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. Afterwards, he got a call from a familiar voice.

Trujillo’s coach at GCC, Dave Grant, called him and asked if he had ever considered coaching. He told him no, as he had never thought about being a coach while he was still playing. Coach Grant then told him he would be a good coach, and to come join his staff.

After his playing career ended, he had to finish his degree, so he started coaching at Santa Barbara City College, knowing that he was going home to Phoenix after college. After getting his degree from Westmont in May of 1988, he began coaching at GCC in September of that year.

Since he took over in 1988, he and the program have had 23 players drafted by the MLB out of GCC.

“It’s an honor to have 23 players that I recruited out of high school drafted by the MLB,” Trujillo said. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for that to happen and then to make it to the Major Leagues is quite impressive.”

Five players made it to the Major Leagues. He also has had 174 players move on to a college or university after playing two years at GCC.

“In my first two years as the Head Baseball Coach, I helped place 29 players to the next college or university, securing $1.16 million in academic/athletic scholarships,” Trujillo said. “This season, we already have 13 players moving on to the next level with scholarships.”

Trujillo first started playing baseball when he was five years old, and then carried on swinging the bat all the way through his time at Westmont.

During his time at GCC, Trujillo broke the school record for hits in a season his sophomore year. Then, he set some records at Westmont that stand even to this day.

In 1986, he had 14 doubles for the season, which stood for third in the school record books at the time.

Then in 1987, he tied a National NAIA record, getting six hits in one game vs Grand Canyon, tied a school record with three doubles in one game vs Azusa Pacific, set the school record with five RBIs in one game vs Grand Canyon, set a record by scoring four runs in one game vs Grand Canyon, and had 61 hits in a season, which stood for second in the school record books at that time.

“The game of baseball consumes me. I love this game and everything that baseball represents,” Trujillo said. “It has provided me an education, friendships, relationships, and as the saying goes, ‘Baseball is Life, the rest is just details!'”

Then, he got a new perspective on baseball when he became the head coach at GCC, specifically with the recruiting process. Since GCC is a two-year school, the recruiting process never ends. As soon as he starts getting used to a team or player, they are gone.

“Trying to convince players to attend GCC is very hard work. Thankfully, we have a great supporting staff. Our AD, baseball academic advisor, trainer, strength and conditioning guy, other head coaches on staff, our equipment specialist and alumni help me bring in the right student athlete to GCC,” Trujillo said. “Our philosophy is very unique. I want good students that come here to work every day, period. Baseball is easy to teach; the game of life is very hard to teach. My job is to develop young boys into men and get them on their way to life, whichever path that may be.”

In his 32 years coaching at GCC, Trujillo has built many memories, with his favorite coming in 1991. He led his team that year to the National Championship Tournament.

“What an amazing team and season that was. And then the entire time in Grand Junction, Colorado was a lifetime memory,” Trujillo said. “Every year that we have played in the district/region playoffs has been exciting and long-lasting rewarding memories.”

Every relationship that he has made with players and their families has been one of the best takeaways for him. He is now coaching his 16th set of father/son combinations since he began his role at GCC.

For a coach that has been leading young men for a long time, one of his favorite things about the job comes when he gets to see his old players grown up.

“My best memory is when every one of our players graduates from college and they come back to visit,” Trujillo said. “They tell me how and what GCC Baseball did for them to prepare for the next step in life. That memory never fades.”

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