West Hills Coalinga names Cordero as new baseball coach, Brixey as softball coach

West Hills Coalinga Athletics
West Hills Coalinga Athletics

COALINGA – West Hills College Coalinga Associate Dean of Athletics Joe Hash has announced the hiring of former Falcon student-athlete and assistant coach Gabrielle "Gaby" Brixey as the college's new softball head coach.

"We are very pleased to announce the return of Gabrielle Brixey-Robertson to Falcon softball," said Hash. "Gaby has what it takes to revitalize Falcon softball and put the program on the map competitively. She is a strong recruiter with great connections in the Central Valley and beyond. She's also an excellent fundraiser and a coach who has proven she knows how to engage the local community and gather its support for the program."

Brixey, a Coalinga native and recent inductee into the WHCC Athletic Hall of Fame, returns home to the college after a standout two-year playing career and four-season stint as an assistant coach for the Falcons.

"I'd like to thank my family for the support and the staff at West Hills for believing that I am the best fit for their program," Brixey said.

"It's surreal being able to come back to the program that realistically made my career," she added. "West Hills allowed me to grow mentally and physically as a student-athlete and I was given the opportunity to transfer on. I'm excited to help build the foundation here and share the opportunities that West Hills has to offer."

After earning varsity letters in three sports at Coalinga High School, Brixey was a two-year starter in centerfield for the Falcons and former head coach Staci Mosher during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. She was a two-time first-team All-Central Valley Conference selection.

Brixey says Mosher was instrumental in her development as a player and person.

"Coach Staci Mosher really paved the way for me as a student-athlete," Brixey said. "She gave me the opportunity to grow but really allowed me to face challenges head on and play the game that I love. She became my coach, my mentor, and my boss all since stepping foot at West Hills College in 2008."

After West Hills, Brixey went on to finish her degree and continue playing softball at Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass. There, she helped lead her team to two New England College Conference (NECC) championships and two NCAA Division III tournament appearances. She was twice named first-team All-NECC, was named to the 2012 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-New England third team, and was a 2012 New England Intercollegiate Softball Coaches Association (NEISCA) honorable mention All-Star selection.

Following her playing career, Brixey made her way back to Coalinga and served as an assistant coach as a part of Mosher's staff from 2013-17. In August of 2017, Brixey earned her first head coaching job and took over the softball program at nearby Taft College where she led the Cougars for the past five seasons (2018-22).

While the chance to lead the Falcons was a tremendous opportunity for Brixey, leaving Taft was also a decision she didn't take lightly.

"It was very difficult to leave Taft," she said. "I worked hard building the program up and seeing the success with the student-athletes. But the major factor that swayed me towards West Hills is the growth opportunity for my future with the school.  Also, the opportunity to be able to come help build back a program that gave so much to me as a student-athlete was something I couldn't pass up."

Now back at WHCC, Brixey is excited to get started and for the future of the program.

"My goal for West Hills softball is to build the name up," she said. "First, start with the foundation of the program and recruit quality kids ready to make a difference. I hope that once the foundation is set, we are able to start building something amazing on the field."

The fall semester at the college begins in August while the official spring softball season gets going in February.

WHCC names Mike Cordero new baseball head coach

COALINGA - West Hills College Coalinga Associate Dean of Athletics Joe Hash has announced the hiring of Mike Cordero as the Falcons' new baseball head coach.

Cordero bring extensive coaching experience ranging from the high school, community college, and NCAA Division I levels.

He most recently led the Chaffey College baseball program in Rancho Cucamonga as its head coach from 2017-2021. While the COVID pandemic shortened the 2020 season and canceled 2021, Cordero compiled a 57-44-1 overall record over three seasons (2018-2020). The Panthers went 31-17 in conference action, earning second-place finishes in 2018 and 2020.

Hash was impressed by Cordero's credentials on and off the baseball field.

"Mike Cordero's background stood out among a strong group of candidates, both for his wealth of experience in coaching college baseball, but also for his experience in teaching and doing faculty work."

Prior to Chaffey, Cordero was the recruiting coordinator at Santa Barbara City College, where he helped the Vaqueros win the 2017 Western State North Championship.

A highly successful high school coach at Loyola High School (Los Angeles) and Agoura High School (Agoura Hills, CA), Cordero brings a championship caliber attitude to the field and the classroom. While head coach at Loyola, his teams won a Mission League title and were ranked as high as No. 9 nationally. Additionally, Cordero's program produced a Perfect Game and First Team All-American, Team USA Participant, MLB Draft pick and more than 25 college players. In 2016 his team was recognized by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) for Academic Excellence by maintaining a team 3.64 GPA.

Prior to Loyola, Cordero was the head coach at Agoura High School. During his time there, he inherited a program that finished in last place the previous five years. Within two years, the Chargers won back-to-back Marmonte League championships. The 2013 team was ranked No. 1 in the Los Angeles Times polls and as high as 6th in the nation according to Baseball America. The program produced 20 collegiate baseball players, two NCAA Division I College World Series participants, one Division III National Champion, three Perfect Game All-Americans and an NCAA Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. In addition, Cordero was invited to be the head coach of the CIF-SS All-Star team.

In 2009, Cordero served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at national powerhouse Cypress College. He played a strong role in developing numerous Division I infielders and two Junior College All-Americans. His recruiting classes helped produce a top-10 national ranking for Cypress in 2010 and a 2009 Orange Empire Conference championship.

In 2008, Mike served as the infield and hitting coach at Charleston Southern University in Charleston, South Carolina. While at CSU, he assisted in developing three Division I Louisville Slugger Freshman All-Americans and helped the Buccaneers make the Big South Conference Tournament. At CSU, he had the privilege of coaching Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Tyler Thornburg.

Over a 16-year career, Mike has coached in the postseason 11 times, winning six league championships. He has helped over 60 players move on to play in college and has had over a dozen players play professionally.

Cordero received a B.A. in marketing from Upper Iowa University and a Master's of Science in physical education from Azusa Pacific University.

(Chris Ruiz, West Hills Coalinga Athletics)