Torrey Pines High School baseball coach lands plum position with Los Angeles Dodgers


The Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the most well-known and celebrated teams in sports, now has a Torrey Pines High School coach among its ranks.

Ryan Sienko, the former head coach of the school’s varsity baseball program and a longtime veteran of the North County baseball scene, has left his post at Torrey Pines to accept a position as an assistant catching coordinator for the storied MLB team.

“People who know me best know that this is what I’ve always wanted to do,” said Sienko, who’s in the midst of an already busy workload. “I feel very fortunate.”

Sienko’s hiring is the latest in a string of baseball milestones for the Poway resident, ranging from playing minor league ball, to coaching, and then becoming a catching expert.

“I was a catcher when I played,” he noted of his time with the Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers minor league teams from 1997 to 2004. “I was very lucky to be mentored by a lot of guys throughout the years who taught me quite a bit about the position, from how to handle yourself as a professional to tips on how to conserve your energy. The help I’ve gotten has been very invaluable to me.”

The Hyatt Hotel in downtown San Diego is where Sienko’s hiring started to take shape.

“I was introduced to Gabe Kapler, who is the director of player development for the Dodgers,” explained Sienko. “We had an eight-minute conversation in the hallway of the Hyatt, where he asked me some questions and mentioned that a coaching spot was available.”

From there, Sienko put together an extensive PowerPoint slideshow that detailed his thoughts on the art of catching and the game of baseball, and the powers that be within the Dodgers organization liked what they saw.

For the position, Sienko will be on the road about 20 days every month, with the remaining time spent working from home. “I’m what’s called a ‘rover,’” he explained. “I’ll spend a lot of time with the team in Rancho Cucamonga and Arizona, and will constantly check in and follow their progress. I’ll make sure their receiving numbers and catching core are where they need to be, and help develop them as ballplayers.”

Despite such a coup, Sienko said the worst part about his new position is no longer being able to coach for Torrey Pines.

“It will be difficult,” he said of stepping away from the team. “I’m going to make sure that I catch as many games as I can. We have a very professional-style philosophy. Everyone has invested a lot of time into the players, and that’s the bittersweet part about all of this.”

Before coming to Torrey Pines, Sienko had a five-year stint as head coach for Canyon Crest Academy.

Sienko says he feels thankful for the opportunity with the Dodgers and has heard congratulations from everyone from current and former students to old friends in the minor league.

“I’ve gotten well wishes from everybody around here, across the country, and back in my hometown.”

For now, Sienko is getting ready to hit the road. Spring training for the Dodgers begins March 4 in Glendale, Ariz., and the regular season begins at Los Angeles’ Dodgers Stadium on April 4.