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River Valley's Asher switches roles
Coach moving from sidelines to the dugout
After four years of running the program, River Valley High football coach Brandon Asher resigned last week and will take over the Falcons baseball program.
Asher turned in his letter of resignation on Thursday, but was approved for the varsity baseball job in October, taking over the post vacated by former coach Billy Rollins.
After dedicating the past 11 years to the gridiron, Asher said he was ready to get back to his true passion.
"Baseball is what I love," Asher said. "There's nothing better than Friday night football and walking out on that field, but for me, there's no game better in the world than baseball."
Asher compiled a 16-25 record in his four years as head coach of the football program, but the Falcons accomplished several milestones under his tenure, including defeating rivals Sutter and Yuba City for the first time. RV also earned the program's first playoff berth this season.
When he applied for the football position in 2009, Asher said his goals were to instill discipline and credibility into the River Valley football program. Self-admittedly, Asher added he wasn't much of an "X's and O's guy" but said every decision he made was in the best interest of the kids who played for him.
"I'm honored to have had this opportunity," Asher said. "There are a ton of great football coaches in this area and not everybody gets the chance to be a head coach. From where it was, I feel this program has made tremendous strides and the kids have been great to work with."
The one thing Asher will miss the most about coaching football is looking into his players eyes after a game and seeing their determination and focus. He always enjoyed coming together with his players, knowing they had just "poured their hearts and souls" out on to the field.
In the Falcons' final game of the season at American Canyon in the first round of the playoffs, Asher said he could not have been more proud of his team. The last thing he was thinking about was that it was his last game.
"Football's a sport, but it also teaches you life lessons," Asher said. "This program is ready for someone to come and take it to the next level. "
Asher will now shift his focus to a baseball program that has progressively improved each season.
Last year, the Falcons put together their best season in program history with a 21-8 record and 10-5 finish in the Tri-County Conference. RV also won its first ever playoff game.
Asher was the Falcons' JV coach last year and previously spent time as pitching coach at his alma mater, Marysville High.
Asher said he hopes to follow the template of former Yuba City coach Jim Stassi, who he said set the standard of what an elite baseball program should look like.
"My biggest goal is to bring that atmosphere here and to put that kind of work into this program," Asher said. "You have to respect the game of baseball before you play it."
Asher's coaching staff is comprised of former RV head coach Todd Artist, pitching coach Jeremy Gillen, hitting coach Ted Robinson and Wayne Parker. Asher said he will also be in contact with Marysville Gold Sox manager Jack Johnson.
Like football, Asher believes his baseball program is on the precipice of breaking through as a top-tier program. He said he's ready to go work.
"I'm confident we can get there," Asher said. "I'm really excited."