It didn't take long for Ron McNutt to assemble an experienced coaching staff at Galena High.
McNutt, who became the state's all-time winningest high school baseball coach while serving as Carson High's head coach from 1976-2004, was hired as Galena's baseball coach this summer. McNutt also spent 24 of those years as the coach of the Carson Capitols summer baseball team.
So it's not surprising that five of the six coaches on his staff played for him either at CHS or with the Capitols. Among those on McNutt's staff are 1987 CHS graduate Donovan Osborne.
Osborne, who played for McNutt at CHS, went on to pitch in the Major Leagues and had a lengthy professional career that came to an end just this past summer when Osborne announced his retirement after pitching for the independent league Long Island Ducks. Osborne will serve as McNutt's pitching coach.
The only coach on McNutt's staff who didn't play for McNutt is Rob Hastings, who McNutt coaxed out of retirement. Hastings retired three years ago after serving as the long-time head coach at Sparks before establishing the program at North Valleys where he also served as head coach. Hastings will coach catchers and baserunning.
There's also Mike Dandos, an all-state infielder for McNutt's 1979 state championship team at CHS. Dandos went on to play for the University of Utah and in the San Francisco Giants organization and was a member of Utah's coaching staff as well. Dandos will be the outfield coach.
Tim Lichty, who played for McNutt with the Capitols, played for Fresno State and went on to graduate from the University of Nevada. Lichty will be the outfield coach.
McNutt also has two former players to coach Galena's junior varsity team. Tim Priess, a 2002 CHS graduate, went on to a standout career with Feather River Community College and NAIA York College in Nebraska where he was named as the program's outstanding pitcher.
Priess will be joined by Chris Utt, who played for McNutt at CHS before going to play for Brown University where he graduated. McNutt said Utt will also help Galena boys basketball coach Tom Maurer in his program.
Osborne, a left-handed pitcher, played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1992-1999, with the Chicago Cubs in 2002 and the New York Yankees in 2004. His best season came in 1996 when the Cardinals reached the National League Championship Series.
He went 13-9 with a 3.53 earned run average. He finished his Major League career with a 49-46 record and a 4.03 E.R.A.
McNutt said he wasn't that serious at first about Osborne joining his staff when he first talked to him.
"We kind of joked on the phone," McNutt said. But when Osborne asked McNutt if he needed a pitching coach, the conversation became more serious.
"He's excited about helping young kids," McNutt said. "He's going to be a big plus for our program."
McNutt said he and Hastings have been "very good" friends over the years. "I always thought Rob did an outstanding job," McNutt said.
"I think he's an outstanding coach. I kind of talke him out of it (retirement) and getting back into it."
"I think we've put together a pretty good staff," said McNutt about his coaches. "Now the work begins.
"I'm excited. I'm looking forward to the season starting again. We've got a huge chore ahead of us. Now we're going to come together."