Coach Sommer McCartney was hired as the Gauchos' head coach at the end of the 2011 season, replacing long-time coach, friend and mentor, Jack Hodges, who retired after teaching and coaching at Saddleback for 22 years. McCartney spent 10 years as an assistant coach under Hodges at Saddleback, including six years as a full-time instructor. McCartney continues to teach Health and Kinesiology classes at Saddleback.
McCartney started coaching at Saddleback in 1998, the year the Gauchos fell one game short of a state championship and had to settle for state runner-up honors. In his 10 years as an assistant coach at Saddleback, he has helped the program win 239 games. From 2001 through 2005 he left Saddleback to become the head coach at Aliso Niguel High School where he won back-to-back Sea View League championships. In 2005 he was hired as a full-time instructor and baseball coach at Saddleback but remained active in coaching youth players, serving as a coach with the US Junior National teams in 2007 and 2008.
Coach McCartney has also helped several Gauchos continue their education and career at the next level. Saddleback has placed an averaged of 12 players a year at four-year universities. He has also had a hand in helping coach former Saddleback and current MLB players Nick Punto (SS - St. Louis Cardinals), Rob Johnson (C - San Diego Padres), and Kanekoa Texeira (P - NY Yankees).
Coach McCartney is originally from San Jose where he played football, soccer and baseball at Willow Glen High School, graduating in 1990. He played baseball for two seasons at San Jose City College under coach Barry Woodhead and then transferred to UC Riverside and played baseball for two seasons under coach Jack Smitheran. In 1994, his UCR team went to the NCAA Division II College World Series in Montgomery, Alabama. McCartney was drafted and signed with the Florida Marlins as a catcher in 1994 and played until 1997.
Coach McCartney earned his Bachelors degree from UC Riverside and his Masters degree from Azusa Pacific University. He also attained his Master Fitness Instructor certificate from the Cooper Institute of Aerobics in 2006.
Sommer and his wife, Kris, have two daughters - Annika and Briana - and make their home in San Clemente.