Santa Margarita Catholic High School announces Michael Takkinen as the school’s head softball coach. Coach Takkinen comes to Santa Margarita after successfully leading a young Troy High School (Fullerton, Calif.) softball program through the 2020 and 2021 coronavirus impacted seasons. Before taking the helm at Troy, Coach Takkinen served as the head coach at Fullerton High School from 2016 to 2019, leading the Tribe to the CIF Division III quarterfinals in 2016 and the Division III semifinals in 2017.
“We are excited to have Coach Takkinen join the Santa Margarita community,” said SMCHS Athletic Director Donald Evans. “His leadership style has been developed through a highly successful playing and coaching career, and he has a unique ability to motivate his student-athletes to perform at a high level under pressure. Although he has demonstrated success on the field, his passion for the overall development of an individual and well-rounded approach elevated him during the interview process. We have full confidence that he will continue the success of our Eagle softball program as it enters this next chapter under his stewardship.”
Takkinen prepped at Sonora High School (La Habra, Calif.) before going on to Claremont McKenna College, where he was a four-year letterman and team captain for the football program while serving as a member of the school’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Coach Takkinen graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 2010, earning a dual bachelor’s degree in psychology and history.
“I am truly honored and excited to be the head coach at Santa Margarita,” Takkinen said. “I look forward to building great relationships with our student-athletes, families, and the whole Santa Margarita community. My staff and I look forward to continuing the strong winning tradition for which Eagles softball is known.”
Takkinen succeeds John Fitzpatrick who resigned to pursue other opportunities as an assistant coach at Golden West College. During his eighteen years at the helm, Coach Fitzpatrick compiled a school record 275 wins to go along with two Trinity League championships (2007 and 2019) and 15 trips to the CIF playoffs, culminating in a CIF Division 1 championship in 2010.