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Hobbie to Retire At End of School Year

LAST CALL: Mike Hobbie, who restored San Marino High School’s football program to its former greatness, will retire. Above, Hobbie shortly after the Titans won the 2015 CIF championship.

Mike Hobbie, who resurrected San Marino High School’s football program and then carried it to unprecedented heights, will retire at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

In the closing moments of San Marino High School’s varsity football banquet in early December, 2018, Hobbie told the audience he wanted to “address the elephant in the room,” his rumored retirement, and said he would let the school know shortly after the new year so administrators could begin the search for his successor.

Hobbie informed The Tribune of his intentions shortly after New Year’s, but kept the news private until he told SMHS administrators and returning football players, which he did on Wednesday morning.

“The game of football and the profession of coaching have afforded me countless opportunities and relationships for which I will be eternally grateful,” Hobbie said in a statement to The Tribune. A “turnaround” specialist known for his uncanny ability to drastically reverse the fortunes of struggling programs, Hobbie has coached at several schools from Florida to California, but admitted to a soft spot of sorts for San Marino, which, barring a change of heart, will be his last.

In a statement to The Tribune, Hobbie, front row, far right, thanked the coaches who hired him and also the army of assistants that have served under his charge. Former Titan players have praised Hobbie for his strong work ethic and disciplined atmosphere.

“I will be forever grateful to the San Marino community,” Hobbie said. “I never could have dreamed how much love and support you showed my family and me. You have helped us beyond words during a most difficult time in our lives. San Marino will always hold a special place in our hearts. Thanks for making us feel so loved and treating us like members of your family. San Marino is truly a special place.”

Hobbie’s wife, Suzanne, a beloved science teacher at San Marino High School, will also retire.

Among his many accomplishments, Hobbie led the 2015 Titans to a 15-1 record, Rio Hondo League and CIF titles and a spot in the State Championship game.

Hobbie coached eight seasons, winning two Rio Hondo League championships while compiling a remarkable 33-7 record against league foes. The Titans wewre 77-25-1 overall under his watch. Hobbie is also the varsity baseball coach at San Marino High School.

Immediately, expressions of love and appreciation for Hobbie began pouring into The Tribune from players spanning Hobbie’s career.

“From the very beginning Coach Hobbie was a tough but fair leader,” said Larsen Cobb, who played under Hobbie ffrom 2011-2014. “Throughout my time at The Citadel, in the Army, and now as a police officer, the values Coach’s Hobbie preached day in and day out continue to be relevant. I am extremely thankful that he was so hard on me as a high school athlete. I firmly believe I would not be the man I am today without his guidance.

Chip Crowley followed a similar path, graduating from SMHS in 2015 and playing four years at the United States Coast Guard Academy. Crowley appreciated the level of discipline Hobbie brought to the program.

“Coach Hobbie’s complex offensive schemes thoroughly prepared me to play college football,” said Crowley, whose younger brother, Patrick, was a member of the 2015 squad and also a teammate at the USCGA. “As a thre- year starting wide receiver at the United States Coast Guard Academy, I am very thankful that I got to play for such a brilliant coach before reaching the college level. Aside from his genius as a football coach, Coach Hobbie reinforced the value of hard work and what commitment truly means. I have found the lessons I learned under Coach Hobbie invaluable throughout my training at the academy. As I graduate in May and become a commissioned officer in the Coast Guard, I thank Coach Hobbie for teaching me what grit truly is and that the best things in life are earned with hard work and perseverance.”

Chaz Davis, a 2016 graduate of San Marino High School, has such strong feelings about his former coach that he thinks “Titan Stadium” should be re-named “Hobbie Field” in his honor.

“Coach Hobbie is truly one of the people that has had the greatest impact on my life,” said Davis. “He is a true leader who exemplifies the characteristics of integrity, hard work and passion. A passion to teach, mentor and coach, to make a lifelong impact on young men’s lives. Coach Hobbie gives his all in everything that he does. No doubt he loves to win, but he loves impacting lives the most. He has built a dynasty at San Marino that I don’t believe will be repeated.”

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