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Monday, October 19, 2020

Outside of the diamond: head coach John Bushart

Baseball takes up 80 percent of his life but during summer, Hawaii is where you can find him.


His office can describe most of who he is and what he does. Red and white dominate the room, boxes filled with brand new baseballs are always at reach.


Pierce College’s baseball head coach John Bushart has his hands full all year long. Most of his days consist of early practices and games, but that is what he loves.


“I love the game and I love working with kids,” Bushart said. “That is really my passion.”


Summer is less work and more fun for Bushart, Hawaii has been his getaway almost every year since his family owns a times share he can call home for a few months.


“I try and get away, spend time with family and friends but I work out a lot to stay in shape,” Bushart said.


Born in Chicago on Feb. 10, 1971, Bushart started his baseball life as a pitcher in Thousand Oaks High School, where he received an award for athlete of the year.


His performance as a pitcher stood out during his younger years in high school and he got what most athletes dream of, a scholarship to play on a higher level.


After playing college baseball at CSUN, Bushart played in the Los Angeles Angels organization for three years. His extensive knowledge and experience with the sport has led him to Pierce after a term as Kennedy High School’s coach.


Coming from winning teams as a coach and a player, this season has been tough for Bushart and he can’t bear to question himself.


“My weekends have been pretty bad, at the end of the day you are supposed to brush it off but as a coach I question myself,” he said.


For 13 years, Bushart has built relationships within the Athletic Department and his players at Pierce, both on a professional and friendly level. Thirteen of those years as an assistant coach and three as the head coach.


“I consider him a true friend,” Athletic Director Bob Lofrano said.


Bushart has proved to be a hard worker and caring person outside and inside the field, for many coaching is just a job but his dedication and willingness to help his players succeed in life make him more than just a coach.


“I am there for them if they need me, not only do I teach them how to play but prepare them for life after baseball.” Bushart said.


Though he may seem quiet and intimidating, Bushart is “very easy going, approachable and confident,” Lofrano said.


It may seem as if his time coaching at Pierce restricts him from doing other activities within his ability but that is only one of the many things he does outside of Pierce.


“I am a part-time scout for the [Milwakee] Brewers, I have been for ten years,” said Bushart. “I also do private lessons with kids around the valley.”


Pierce holds a special place for Bushart and his future plans to possibly become a full time employee but his interest to be a Division I coach would be a step further towards his accomplishments.


“I am kind of a workaholic, and people tell me that, but I enjoy it,” he said.


Bushart is part of a successful baseball program at Pierce where he has further five players to the major leagues with his coaching and life skills.

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