Ending his twenty-eighth season as the Ventura College swimming and diving head coach, Larry Baratte has stepped away from his coaching and teaching duties with the CCCAA (California Community College Athletic Association) institution.
The decision last month by the full-time professor and former kinesiology department head was made in light of his 2013 diagnosis of brain cancer and the presence of a malignant glioblastoma tumor. The mass has since been removed but Baratte’s retirement is, in his own words to the Ventura County Star, a choice ” to take care of myself and move forward in the right way.” Baratte’s newer one-centimeter tumor was successfully removed in a recent operation.
Mary Giles, head women’s water polo coach and assistant swimming coach, is serving as the Pirates’ interim coach for the remainder of the school year. The hunt for Baratte’s replacement has already begun and the school is planning to hire for another water polo and swimming position as well.
The Ventura College Pirates competed on the first of the month in Cuesta, CA for their third Western State Conference meet of the season. Out of the five schools present, the men emerged on top and the women earned the runner-up title. The Pirate men swept the meet with eight individual titles and two relay titles while the women only took the 400 free relay and 400 medley relay. The Pirates will travel back to Cuesta on the 21st for the Western State Championships, and May 5-7 they’ll end the season at the CCCAA State Championships in Los Angeles.
Baratte’s accolades as Ventura College head coach.
- 2007 Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame inductee
- Three-time state Coach of the Year
- 25 Western State Conference team titles
- 12 State Scholar Team awards
- 2 Men’s swimming state titles.
- 146 All-Americans
- 24 state champions
- 12 national champions