Coach Andre Green poses with his son and grandchildren (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Baldwin Hills Champions baseball program head coach Andre Green recently celebrated over 50 years of coaching in the Southern California area. A ceremony was held at Baldwin Hills Park where fellow coaches, parents and former players gathered to honor his career.

“I started coaching back in ’77, I was a junior in high school,” Green said. “I love raising kids, I love teaching them. My parents, I always tell them a family that prays together, stays together and this is my family here at Baldwin.”

Green was an assistant coach at Crenshaw high school for over 30 years then became a coach at Dorsey high school. Along with coaching the Baldwin Hills Champions, Green coached the travel team Dodgers 42. The goal of creating the Baldwin Hills Champions was to create a program that prioritizes teaching over winning.

“When we started the baseball program, Green became the commissioner,” said coach LeVerne Kimble. “He’s always been a good teacher, good motivator, good mentor.”

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Coach LaVerne Kimble holds a trophy and goft that was presented to Green (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

The Champions 9U softball team along with their 13U and 10U baseball teams won a City Championship in 2018.

“Quite often, we don’t find individuals like [Green] who are dedicated to helping young people,” said Willard Love. “We just need more men like that because what he does is so unique, because we don’t have that kind of commitment from an individual in our community.”

Gerald Pickens, who has coached for the Centennial baseball team, noted how he and Green were coaches during times when sports were a haven to protect youth from drugs and crime.

“There’s not that many Black coaches doing what me and Green did if there ever was,” Pickens said. “We had a way of attracting Black ballplayers and convincing them that this game is a game to play.”

Young athletes that won the City Championships with the Baldwin Hills Champions pose with Green (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Anthony Edwards, who has been working at Baldwin Hills Park for over 30 years, noted how they are good friends until Edwards had to be an umpire to his games.

“We’ve always been the best of friends, I call him once a week and yell at him all the time,” Edwards said. “This is well deserved for him; it couldn’t happen to a nicer man.”

Green was elated to see his former players. While some became fathers, others became coaches.

“My main goal was to bring these coaches up the right way and teach them how to coach,” Green said.

Coaches, players and parents express their gratitude to Green (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Among his former players was Craig Hackett; Green helped Hackett develop a program called Top Prospect Baseball.

“He coached me when I was 14, 15 years old,” Hackett said. “I saw the passion, the love he had for baseball at that early age.”

Dorsey softball coach Wayne Kimble noted how Green created a “lineage of coaches” where he gave several aspiring coaches their start.

“Somebody told me “you need to go over to Crenshaw and see a guy named Andre Green” and I went over there and I talked to coach Green, he hired me on the spot,” Wayne said. “I coached JV that year and we went undefeated.”