Ted Muniz

Ted Muniz coached the Bulldogs freshman team last year and is now set to take over from Vic Alkire after the latter called it a day on a storied career which lasted 29 years in the Tracy dugout.

Being tasked with replacing a head coach of almost 30 years is not a common occurrence in the modern game, yet it was one that those involved with the Tracy varsity baseball team had to complete.

Vic Alkire was at the helm of the Bulldogs program for 29 years before calling it a day in the spring of this year. The legendary coach bowed out with an overall record of 440-305-2 and is set to be replaced by Ted Muniz.

Muniz’s most recent post was as the leader of Tracy’s freshman team, a job that he was extremely passionate about. He will bring infectious energy and enthusiasm, along with experience and a lifelong passion for baseball to carry the program forward.

“Ted brings years of varsity coaching experience to the position, along with a great reputation and love of the game,” said Tracy High Athletic Director Matthew Shrout in an official statement. “We know he will do a great job leading the program into this next chapter of Tracy High baseball.”

Among his previous head coaching jobs, Muniz was in charge of Mt. Eden High and Kimball High programs. Having known Alkire for around 3 years, he decided to join the Tracy High setup in 2021 to mentor freshmen and prepare them for the remainder of their high school careers.

Muniz considers the freshman head coaching job to be one of elevated importance. After all, that’s where the journey towards varsity starts.

After a stint with the youngsters, Muniz is energized and enthused by the opportunity to take over from Alkire. It is a challenge that he is embracing fully.

“I feel honored more than anything,” Muniz told the Tracy Press. “I know how hard (Alkire) worked with the program here and I would love to keep it going. I’m taking over for somebody who was here for 29 years so I’m not trying to change the world. But obviously, every new coach that comes in does their own thing.”

Prior to our interview, Muniz was at the Monte Vista Middle School baseball field – the home of the Bulldogs – conducting a meeting with a group of players. Even though the season does not officially start until the turn of the calendar, he wants to show his intentions and commitment to the program from the word “go.”

The meeting was about expectations, taking ownership, accountability, and work ethic. Muniz wants players to take the time between now and when things get underway to buy in and be ready to give it their all, because he certainly is.

“I just want to get everybody on the same page,” Muniz said. “There is a new coach in town, and we have to believe in each other. It’s their program, not my program. We want to make it for them. Whatever I can do for them to feel that way, I will do it.”

Asked about the turnout to a meeting in the middle of the summer holidays, Muniz was encouraged.

He said: “It makes me feel good. It means they believe in the program. We want to continue and go forward with what Coach Alkire developed here. If we can do that, we’re going to be good.”

Alkire tends to have a big impact on those around him. It’s no different with Muniz. That’s what made Alkire so successful for such a long time. Being in the same job for so long is virtually unheard of in modern sports. Muniz went into some detail about his relationship with his predecessor and what it means to him.

“We talk quite a bit,” he said. “He’s not only a coach, he is a really good friend of mine. I only met him three years ago, so it goes to show just how much of an impact he has had on my life. If I can do a job that he is proud of, then we’ve done it.”

Muniz’s excitement about taking over as the Bulldog chief was just as visible as it was audible. He looked to the future with immense enthusiasm and stressed to his players that he will always be there for them.

That was a big point of emphasis during the meeting. Muniz is a big believer in communication. He wants his players to be open, not afraid to speak up, and willing to take ownership of the team. He wants natural leadership.

Speaking of his coaching style, Muniz described himself as a motivator. A glass-half-full kind of guy. His goal is to be present and give his team the tools to achieve success not only on the field, but especially off it.

“The young people of today are our future,” Muniz said. “If I can give a kid a chance, then I’ve done my job. Not every kid here is going to play Major League Baseball, but they can all go to school. Whatever they want to do, be the best that you want to be.”

The Bulldogs went 15-12-1 last season, 7-8 in the Tri-City Athletic League, and missed the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. Muniz would like to change that, especially with 12 players, including 11 seniors, returning from last year.

His goal is to continue the great work that has been put into the program by Alkire and make it an even more of a well-oiled machine – one that will be easy to take over once he is done. Though Muniz does not expect to leave the dugout any time soon.

“I want to be here as long as I can go, as long as they want me,” Muniz said before shifting his attention to next season’s aims. “I want to be competitive every year we come in. I can’t say enough about what I have come into. It’s a fantastic program with a great support system and we just want to continue building on that.”

• Contact Arion Armeniakos at aarmeniakos@tracypress.com, or call 209-830-4229.

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