COD Women’s Golf Head Coach Sabella Retires

COD Women’s Golf Head Coach Sabella Retires

COD Women's Golf head coach, Gary Sabella, has decided to retire after a 30 year career in coaching golf, helming the Roadrunners program since 2014.

While remaining in the Coachella Valley with his wife Charlene, the La Quinta resident is not completely departing and is looking to "assist in a more advisory role as opposed to being the full time head coach."

Sabella had previously coached the Women's Golf Team at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo for five years. The Saddleback Gauchos advanced to the Southern California Regionals four of the five years under his direction. He was named Co-Coach of the Year in the Orange Empire Conference (OEC) in 2009 and 2010 and OEC Coach of the Year in 2014.

Prior to Saddleback, he was the Athletic Director and boys and girls golf coach at Trabuco Hills High School in Mission Viejo. His teams won eight league championships, a CIF championship and a state title during his years at Trabuco Hills. He was named Orange County Coach of the Year in 1992 and California State Coach of the Year in 1993. He was a member of the CIF Advisory Golf Committee and spearheaded the movement to start girl's golf at the high school level in 1998 an effort he is particularly proud of.

He also shared his proudest moment in his time with the Roadrunners, bringing home a state championship in 2014. "It was my first season with Desert, and we dominated, running the table that year. Those women worked hard, on the course and in the classroom, and we didn't lose a single match all season, rolling though the Conference schedule, then the SoCal Finals and the CCCAA State Finals, just unstoppable," Sabella said. "There's something unique about winning an award of that caliber. To win it and hold the trophy above your head amongst your peers and players, then to actually walk onto campus and hand the award over, to be placed in a trophy case for posterity, forever, that's a special feeling."

This past 2016 Women's Golf season, Sabella ran into a couple of difficulties just as competition began in late August. "We lost two starters in mid-August, which posed a unique situation, I was very proud of the team that stepped forward," commented Sabella, "four of our six student athletes were true, first year, freshmen, and we still made it as a team to the SoCal Finals. That's a tremendous accomplishment. In addition, we sent two players Li Chi "KiKi" Liu from Palm Desert H.S. and Kabrea Rosas from La Quinta H.S. to the CCCAA State Finals in Morro Bay."

Both Liu and Rosas were named to the All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference team and Liu was selected as the Conference Athlete of the Year at the PCAC Conference Finals at Sun Lakes Country Club in Banning on November 2.

Sabella attended Pepperdine University on a baseball scholarship and earned his Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Pepperdine.  Golf runs deep in the Sabella family with both of his sons in the golf industry.  His son Greg is the former Director of Marketing for Callaway golf and his son Lance is the General Manager of Lakeside Golf Club in Toluca Lake, California. Sabella and his wife Charlene have been married for 49 years.

Information, Photos & Story provided by COD Sports Information.