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They'll be missed

Marina's Paul Renfrow and Edison's Bruce Belcher, two longtime area athletic directors, are retiring soon.

June 16, 2010
  • Marina High's Paul Renfro
Marina High's Paul Renfro (DOUGLAS ZIMMERMAN,…)

When Paul Renfrow arrived as the new varsity baseball head coach at his alma mater, Marina High, in the fall of 1983, he was surprised to find that the school didn't have a baseball field.

Worse yet, one did exist, but he couldn't find it.

"It was dragged over and desolate," he said. "I can't even tell you what I thought."

When he retires and relinquishes his positions this week as baseball coach and boys' athletic director at a school he's been loyal to for nearly 43 years, he will have done so as the architect who built the baseball program from the ground up.

Renfrow said he is "retiring and resigning" to spend time with his wife, Vicki, and the rest of his family.

Former Marina student and assistant football coach, Dean Yoshiyama, is the new Marina boys' athletic director.

"He really has built this program," said Bob Marshall who inherits the role of varsity baseball coach from Renfrow. "What's amazing is that when Paul came here, the field wasn't there. It was a big weed patch, a real mess. He came in and changed everything, for the better, bottom line.

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"We've had several outstanding players pass through this program, and several outstanding coaches, as well. When you think of Marina baseball, you think of Paul Renfrow."

Marshall, who has taught at Marina for the past 15 years, has been Renfrow's right-hand man on the diamond for the past 16 years. In addition to being an assistant on Renfrow's staff, Marshall spent three years as the junior varsity baseball head coach and also coached at the freshman level. Marshall is a 1985 graduate of Marina.

"His drive and determination really got this program going," Marshall said. "Paul's thing, above all else, was to do what was best for the kids. He treated kids with respect and wanted them to be good young men. He wanted to win but he never sacrificed how he taught the kids for winning. I've seen that first-hand, first as a player, then later, as a coach."

Renfrow guided the Marina varsity baseball program for the past 27 years and took the Vikings to new-found success. He compiled 420 victories and won two CIF Southern Section championships, the last of which was the Division I title in 2003. Several of his players have been drafted, his last being senior third baseman Chad Lewis who was a fourth-round selection last week by the Oakland A's.

He said winning a CIF Division I championship in 1990, was his most memorable coaching moment.

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