Burbank softball head coach Melissa Sanchez resigns

Burbank softball head coach Melissa Sanchez resigns

Maddison Kellogg is one of the standout players under Melissa Sanchez, who has resigned as Burbank’s head coach. (Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

By Rick Assad

After five seasons as Burbank High’s softball coach, Melissa Sanchez, a former Bulldogs player, resigned Tuesday.

Under Sanchez’s leadership, the Bulldogs had three winning seasons by winning percentage and reached the CIF Southern Section playoffs four times.

“It is with a heavy heart that I resigned from my coaching position at Burbank High School,” Sanchez said. “I reflect on the immense gratitude I feel for the incredible experience I have had. From the talented athletes to the competitions, wins and losses, I have built unforgettable bonds with my coaches, athletic directors and players that make this journey so special.”

Sanchez added, “This softball program in Burbank has given me many memories that I will cherish forever,” she said. “Every girl that has been a part of my program over the past five years has helped make me the coach I am today and I am forever grateful to them for that. I thank the parents, athletic directors, coaching staff, supporters and fans who have supported me throughout my tenure – their contributions have truly made this experience unforgettable. Moving forward, I will always be a proud Bulldog at heart.”

Last season, Burbank went 12-13 with a 5-2 record in the Pacific League, losing to Paraclete 12-2 in the opening round of Division IV.

The Bulldogs had a 53-55-1 record in all games played and achieved a league record of 24-21 with Sanchez at the helm.

Burbank athletic director Ally McKain was sad to see Sanchez leave, but is grateful for the time she spent leading the program.

“It is amazing to consider how many female athletes Coach Meli has positively impacted, not only through skill acquisition, but also through the life lessons her players have learned during her time teaching, including resilience, good decision-making, personal responsibility and character development,” she said.

Melissa Sanchez played for the Bulldogs and coached the team for five seasons. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Sanchez)

McKain talked about what Sanchez has done for the program.

“Coach Meli is a graduate of Burbank High School and we will miss her greatly in our softball program. She has been tremendous to both our program and our school and embodies pride and excellence in everything she does,” she noted. “Coach Meli will continue to help, support and advise us during the transition to coaching softball at Burbank.”

McKain said a qualified coach would succeed Sanchez.

“An extensive search has already begun on our school campus for a highly qualified softball coach – one who has a connection with the players and can lead a successful program,” she said.

Although Sanchez will no longer be on the Bulldogs’ bench, she has left a lasting impression.

“I look forward to seeing Coach Meli at McCambridge Park, where she spends her evenings coaching travel softball teams. Coach Meli is known in the Burbank community for her true love and passion for the game,” McKain said. “She has been and will continue to be a role model for many aspiring young players. No matter what softball field Coach Meli plays on, she has made one thing clear: she will always be a Bulldog.”

Sanchez took over when Mike Delaney resigned and led Burbank to a 4-3-1 record and a 1-1 league record during COVID-19.

In Sanchez’s second season, the Bulldogs posted 11-10 and 4-5 records in league play and advanced to the second round of the Division V playoffs after defeating Coast Union but losing to Santa Clara 7-3.

In Sanchez’s third season, Burbank went 12-17 and 5-8 in league play, losing 1-0 to Temple City in a Division IV playoff game.

Two seasons ago, Burbank finished 14-12 overall and 4-5 in league play, losing to Fillmore 6-3 in a Division IV matchup.