David Klein stayed close to home after graduating from Menlo-Atherton and UC Santa Barbara. Now he's even closer.
Klein, an all-Bay Area catcher while playing for the Bears, returns as the school's baseball coach. The school made it official Tuesday.
"We are enthusiastic to welcome back to M-A High School the passionate, experienced coach David Klein," said M-A Principal Simone Kennel.
A member of the Menlo-Atherton Baseball Hall of Fame, Klein was a three-year varsity starter. He earned first team honors at the league, metro and Bay Area levels in both his junior and senior years.
As a junior, Klein hit .472 with 14 doubles and 26 RBI. As a senior, he hit .442 with 12 doubles and 22 RBI.
"I couldn't be more excited to give back to the community that has given so much to me, both as a student and an athlete," Klein said. "Returning to M-A, where I have so many fond memories and interactions with great teachers and coaches, is a dream come true."
Following a stint as an assistant coach at Santa Barbara City College, Klein returned to Menlo Park, where he founded the Menlo Park Legends, a summer baseball program in the California Collegiate League.
The Legends possess a 198-149 record in seven seasons under Klein and have been competitive from day one.
"We are very much looking forward to adding coach Klein's inspiring, strong leadership to the Bears athletic program," Athletic Director Paul Snow said.
He replaces Mike Amoroso, who guided the Bears to a 5-18 overall record last spring.
Klein served on the staff of the 2012 and 2016 Israel World Baseball Classic qualifier teams alongside numerous Major League players and coaches. His relationships with hundreds of collegiate coaches and professional scouts nationwide have resulted in the signing of over 40 players to professional contracts with MLB.
This experience well positions him to secure college scholarships and enhanced opportunities for M-A student athletes to play at the next level.
Klein's success with his holistic formula is based on positive coaching, nutrition, strength training and mental skills, developed from coaching over 5,000 children and young adults in the Menlo Park vicinity since 2008.
He offers baseball-playing and mentorship opportunities to dozens of low-income, underprivileged and disabled youth in East Menlo Park and East Palo Alto through his organization's (Legends Village) scholarship programs.
"My coaching staff will focus on developing players of strong moral character, with the ability to balance both on and off field challenges," Klein said. "My vision is to create the premier high school program in Northern California and that all aspiring ballplayers in M-A's catchment area will be eager to enter our first-class program."