Elias Chavez Won 109 Games & Positively Impacted the Lives & Careers of Many in His Eight Successful Years at Charter Oak

Jun 11 2024 06:17:15

Thanks to Gwen Pointer for these photos


By Brian Reed-Baiotto, Sports Editor

After a successful and productive eight-year run, Charter Oak High School abruptly parted ways with baseball coach, Elias Chavez.

The news both surprised and disappointed many, including his current and former players, area coaches, and those of us in the media.

Chavez himself had similar feelings, but to his credit, the soon-to-be 42-year-old took the high road, and he wanted to express nothing but gratitude to the school for the opportunity and the memories made over the last eight years.

When Chavez took over the reins in 2017, it was his first gig as a head baseball coach.

At that time, the Chargers were a CIF-SS Division 3 program.

Under his leadership, COHS jumped a division, and the reason they were battle ready for the playoffs each year was Chavez’s determination in putting together the toughest nonleague schedule possible.

Since 2017, the Chargers had an overall record of 109-79-1.

In his first season, COHS went 17-6 and that included a 12-3 run in Hacienda League games.

The Chargers edged Valencia, 5-4, in the first round of the playoffs before falling, 3-2, to Righetti.

Under Coach E’s leadership, Charter Oak had just one losing season, and they made the playoffs every year except for 2020, when COVID-19 shut the world down.

The boys in yellow and blue made quarterfinal round postseason appearances in 2021 and 2022.

COHS competed in both the Hacienda and Valle Vista Leagues, and they had a combined record of 63-22 over that stretch.

In seven of the last eight years, Charter Oak finished second in league.

Two years ago, the Chargers were one-game back of second-place San Dimas.

The only thing that stood between his program and a league championship were very good Division 1 programs, San Dimas and South Hills, as well as the 2017 CIF champs from Walnut.

This past 2024 season was less than impressive.

COHS began the year 2-9-1 before opening Valle Vista League play.

The Chargers had key injuries and just as significant, they saw game changers like Anthony Vasquez and Diego Ortiz graduate.

But Chavez rallied the troops, and they finished 7-3 in VVL games, which was good enough for second place.

COHS finished two games ahead of West Covina and they earned a postseason berth.

Chavez credited his coaching staff and players for the program’s success since 2017.

Some of his best players include Chris Ceballos, Anthony Vasquez, Zach Bauer, Diego Ortiz
Paul Sanchez, Jacob Moreno, Dino Miranda, Evan Avitia and many others.

They all went on to play college baseball after their time at Charter Oak.

Chavez was a 2000 Rancho Cucamonga High School graduate, and he competed for RCHS, Rio Hondo College and Lambuth University in Jackson, Tennessee.

He also comes from a family of leaders.

His father Elias was a wrestling coach and currently serves as a lower-level girls basketball coach at Arcadia High School for his daughter/Coach E’s sister.

And Elias’ little brother, Caleb Flores, a state-runner up from Northview, is the head wrestling coach at Vanguard University.

As you’ll see in the quotable section below, ‘Coach Chav’ had a massive impact on the baseball careers and lives of his players, and he earned the respect of his peers in the coaching profession.

The following is my opinion.

And to be crystal clear, this does not come from Coach Chavez, his players or the coaches quoted in this story.

Over the last 25 years of my writing career, I’ve seen a lot of quality men and women take a lot of unnecessary or excessive heat for swearing in the heat of battle and/or because someone’s parent is upset that Johnny or Suzie doesn’t get the playing time their child so richly deserves.

Moreover, parents who happen to be in positions of power or those that donate funds to private schools or athletic programs have far too much say in the duration of a coach’s career.

They wield that power to settle scores instead of, in most cases, taking the success of that coach, and most importantly, the impact he or she had on the young lives in mind, and thinking, ‘while I don’t like him/her, their success and impact speaks for itself.’

This might come as a shock to some, but even coaches and athletes at religious schools utter much of what their contemporaries do at public schools.

I could go on and on, but I’ll leave at this:

Since I started 210 Prep Sports approximately six years ago, and of the 29 baseball programs this site covers, no coach has been more helpful over a longer period of time in getting me information so that his athletes receive the positive publicity they rightfully earned than Elias Chavez.

While Elias is out at COHS, he remains an active summer ball coach, and Coach Chav hopes to be in a dugout at either the high school or JC level next spring.

In the meantime, he and his wife Vanessa have plans to start their new family, and those of us that know Elias want nothing but the best for Coach E and the entire Chavez/Flores family.

Lastly, I asked Chavez for his thoughts on the time he spent at COHS:

Said Elias Chavez: “I enjoyed my time at Charter Oak. We had a great eight-year run. We worked very hard to make sure our kids got opportunities to play college ball, and that everybody at COHS had a good experience. We built relationships where kids still come back to the field, and they want to give back. That makes us so happy. We wanted to foster a culture of never-say-die and that we’re always going to be in the fight. The baseball community is a small, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the support so many coaches, players and parents have shown me, including guys we went to battle with, because they understand and know what we go through.”


South Hills coach, Darren Murphy: “​Eli’s teams are a reflection of the man himself. They fought hard and didn’t give up, and as a coach that’s the best thing you could ask of your players. We were in some good ballgames with Charter Oak, but Eli and I always talked afterwards about the game we just played, and I will miss that.”

Mt. SAC coach, John Knott: “His kids were always prepared, and you can tell they believed in Coach Chavez, his staff and the kind of baseball he was teaching. I know and I’ve heard that his players had a good experience under his tutelage. We have Diego Ortiz, one of his most recent players over here at Mt. SAC and we love that kid and thank Eli for that.”

Maranatha coach, Matt Shupper: “Eli is a tough competitor and a great coach. Each time we played his program, they were always prepared and ready to battle. Eli tuned Charter Oak into one of the stronger programs in the San Gabriel Valley. COHS played with a great passion for the game, and they were a reflection of their coach and his staff.”

Bonita coach, Ryan Marcos: “I’ve spent time with Elias on & off the field and I’ve always appreciated his honest, upfront, and fair approach. Elias always had his Charter Oak teams prepared to compete against the best and we’ve had some great battles on the diamond.”

Northview baseball coach, Dan Roddy: “Coach Chavez is a very good coach. When you played Charter Oak, you played a well-disciplined team who knew the game. This is a big loss for the program.”

Covina coach, Tim O’Leary: “I have nothing but good things to say about Coach Chavez. Having both coached with and against him his teams, I know they are always prepared and play with energy. No matter where he goes next, he will do an excellent job as he did at Charter Oak.”

Former COHS player, Chris Ceballos: “I want to first congratulate coach on an amazing coaching era at Charter Oak High School. I am blessed and thankful to have been a part of his squad and be taught under his leadership. I want to thank him for being a great role model to me and the boys. He is a big part of where I am in my baseball career. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to play for him and the belief that he had in me. Wherever he goes, he will make an impact on that program. I wish him the best on his next chapter of life.”

Former COHS player, Jacob Alvarez: “Coach Chav had a great impact on me as a baseball player and as a person. He truly taught me and every other player how to have attention to detail in everything we do. He also always had high expectations for us, which led to myself unlocking a new level of mental toughness and discipline that I’ve never had before.”

Former COHS player, Anthony Vasquez: “Coach Chavez was a major factor in my love for this game. He pushed me to limits that I never thought I could achieve. He helped me break down barriers that allowed for me to play at the collegiate level. I have learned important life skills that have shaped me to become the young man I am today, and I will continue to help as life goes on. Coach Chavez is truly an amazing coach, and he has always gotten the most out of his players.”

Former COHS player, Diego Ortiz: “​I played for Coach Chavez all four years at Charter Oak High School. What I enjoyed about Coach Chavez was he pushed me to my limits and got the best out of me. Coach Chavez never sugar coated anything and was straight forward and to the point. I believe that Coach Chavez’s intentions were to bring out the best in you and to build you up as a young man. Not only was he our baseball coach, but he was also looking out for our best interest in the classroom or if we were away from the baseball field. I truly appreciate what Coach Chavez did for me and Charter Oak Baseball.”

Former COHS player, Evan Avitia: “Coach Chavez was a huge reason for my love for the game. He pushed me and made me reach levels I never thought I could. Once I started playing baseball at the college level, is when I really realized the value of Coach Chavez’s lessons, especially on the mental side of the game. His coaching not only made me a better player but also, his life lessons made me a strong young man. Coach Chavez is an absolutely amazing coach and made his players not only better as players, but also as men.”

Former COHS player, Paul Sanchez: “Coach Chavez did an amazing job during my three years with him as my coach. He taught me discipline and to do things the right way. He made me a better player and a better man. I was blessed to have him as a coach, and he was a great mentor to myself and others during our time at Charter Oak.”

Charter Oak Under Elias Chavez:
2024: 9-15-1 overall, 7-3 in league & (0-1 in playoffs)
2023: 16-11, 8-2 & (1-1)
2022: 16-13, 7-3 & (2-1)
2021: 17-12, 7-3 & (2-1)
2020: 4-3, 0-0 & (0-0)
2019: 16-8, 11-4 & (0-1)
2018: 14-11, 11-4 & (0-1)
2017: 17-6, 12-3 & (1-1)
Totals: 109-79-1 overall, 63-22 in league & 6-7 in the playoffs