The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Coach Profile: Ryan Hamilton paves his own path

Willie Pon
Head Coach Ryan Hamilton talks to the JV baseball team following 10-0 win in 2022 against King’s Academy.

Before the 2022 season, the last time Carlmont’s varsity baseball team won a league title was in 2017. Five years later, Ryan Hamilton led them to the title in his second year as the Scot’s head coach.

Hamilton always had a baseball in his hand growing up, playing since a young age and working hard to be the best player he could be.

“My family always thought that I was born to play ball. From the moment I could walk, I was always throwing a ball around with my dad, and it just bloomed from there,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton would go on to play in Little League, although he admitted he was not always the best player at this age.

“It was when I turned 14, around eighth grade, that I turned the corner and really started putting a lot of time into baseball, and I started getting a lot better. I was making plays I wasn’t making before and was hitting the ball out further than before as well,” Hamilton said.

By the time he attended Aragon High School, Hamilton had worked hard enough to solidify himself as one of the best players on the field. His work ethic earned him multiple NCAA Division 2 and Division 3 offers, but he chose academics over baseball and instead attended the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).

While at UCSB, Hamilton played on the club team as primarily a center fielder but was never able to play for an NCAA team. As a result, he plateaued in skill due to not being coached anymore and made no further steps in his playing career.

However, in his senior year, Hamilton transitioned into coaching for the first time, leading the UCSB club team to the Club Baseball World Series. Hamilton made UCSB a No. 1 nationally-ranked team and beat a top-25 NCAA Division 3 team.

Hamilton returned to the Bay Area to be the head coach of Aragon’s JV baseball team, which he led for four years. He spent the next two years in Massachusetts and returned to the Bay Area in 2018 to be a varsity baseball assistant coach for Sequoia High School.

Following the shortened 2020 season, Hamilton moved to occupy the vacant Carlmont head coaching position and has remained with the Scots since.

I like to do things that are slightly different, and what I think, slightly ahead of what the other coaches are trying to do.

— Ryan Hamilton

“I feel really lucky to be here at Carlmont. I have a lot of family connected to this school and it’s just something I’ve always wanted to do, so I’m glad I was able to take this job here,” Hamilton said.

In his first year, the Scots only finished third; three wins shy of No.1 Capuchino. The following year, however, the team progressed, and Hamilton led Carlmont to the 2022 Peninsula Athletic League Bay division title with a 12-2 record, clearing No. 2 Burlingame by two wins.

Hamilton’s success comes mainly from his unorthodox approach to coaching, as he admits his style is unlike most high school teams due to his comfort with experimentation.

“I like to do things that are slightly different, and what I think, slightly ahead of what the other coaches are trying to do. I try to stay at the forefront of things by listening to lots of podcasts, reading a lot, and communicating with fellow coaches online and seeing what they’re doing,” Hamilton said.

So far, this approach has worked. Hamilton emphasized baserunning, especially in situations with runners on first and third base, by practicing game like scenarios. By doing this, he let his players be competitive while actively solving the problems they encounter on the field.

“I set up the situation so that the players figure out how to accomplish the task that I put in front of them, and that’s something you probably don’t see at a lot of high school teams, but it works for us. Once we started doing that, we began executing those first and third situations at a much higher level than the teams we were playing against,” Hamilton said.

Baserunning is not the only place where Hamilton’s regime differs from other coaches, as he runs a system similar to football regarding the intellectual side of the sport. Hamilton runs chalk talks in which players take notes of what he’s talking about. 

Last year’s team consisted of two NCAA Division 1 athletes, Tripp Garrish and Jack Vanoncini, who were among the seven seniors who started for the Scots. In the upcoming season, Hamilton is tasked with overcoming the challenge of filling those seven holes with a combination of current seniors and players shifting from JV.

“My whole time at Carlmont, I’ve been a part of his system, so I know what to expect from Hamilton, and that leaves me only needing to focus on the game instead of having to adjust like some players may have had to do the prior years,” said Ben Sunahara, a junior right fielder.

Hamilton has a lot of faith in his juniors, as he prospects Carlmont’s roster to be a top-2 seed in the division with a good chance of winning the league once again. As the growing pains of Hamilton’s new system should’ve withered entirely away by now, the Scots are fully focused on the season.

“His unique style is what separates our team from others in this league and gives us a chance against powerhouse private schools that we’ll face outside of our regular season,” said Daivik Vennela, a junior third baseman. 

Vennela and Sunahara are a part of the vital junior class preparing to replace the departed seniors of 2022. Hamilton intends to lead this team back to the top again in 2023, as his coaching and guidance has made the Scots familiar with the feeling of first place.

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About the Contributor
Alexander Menchtchikov
Alexander Menchtchikov, Scot Scoop Editor
Alexander Menchtchikov is a senior editor who is in his third year in the journalism program. He enjoys playing soccer and following several sports in his time outside of writing. Find him on X @amenchtchikov.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Coach Profile: Ryan Hamilton paves his own path