A familiar face with Lower Columbia College ties has accepted an offer to coach the Columbia Basin College baseball team next season.
Steve Farrington, who coached at LCC from 1983 to '94 and led the Red Devils to three NWAACC titles, will take over the program from Scott Rogers, who recently announced he will step down at the end of the current campaign.
"It's a great opportunity for me," Farrington told the Tri-City Herald. "To be able to stay close to my family and friends, and take over such a successful program is the perfect situation."
Farrington is a first-year assistant coach with the Hawks, and was selected for the head coaching spot ahead of longtime assistants Jeremy Beard and Seth Haselhuhn.
"Steve has all the credentials you look for in a coach," said Rogers, who is also the school's athletic director. "He has ties to the community, he's well-respected and well-liked, and he wins games. It's a positive move all the way around."
The 56-year-old Farrington led LCC to NWAACC baseball titles in 1984, '90 and '92 while compiling a 280-149-2 record. Under his watch, the Red Devils won six Western Division titles, he was named the division's Coach of the Year six times and earned NWAACC Coach of the Year honors three times.
Farrington was also named the Diamond Sports Coach of the Year in 1992, and was honored as LCC Faculty Member of the Year by staff and students in 1993. In addition, he was inducted into the NWAACC Hall of Fame in 2000.
Farrington was hired to replace coach the legendary Bobo Brayton at Washington State University in 1995, and led the Cougars to an 18-12 record and the Pac-10 Conference North title in his first season. After an additional six seasons, his contract wasn't renewed after leading the Cougars to a combined 136-198 record.
Farrington took a job as a science teacher at Richland High, and enters his eighth season as head coach of the Twin City Titans Senior American Legion baseball team, comprised of players from Richland and Kamiakin high schools.
In addition, Farrington also served as defensive backs coach in 2005 for the expansion Tri-Cities Fever football team that won the National Indoor Football League title.
"I've always enjoyed the JC level," Farrington said. "It's very rewarding to take 19- and 20-year-old kids and help them mature and develop their games. My goal is to give them every chance to play at a four-year school or professionally."
Edwards, Troyer lead West All-Stars to win
Lower Columbia College basketball players Robert Edwards and Josh Troyer each scored in double figures to lead the West squad to a 91-76 victory over the South in the NWAACC Sophomore All-Star Games held at Bellevue College.
Edwards started and played 20 minutes, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Troyer, who came off the bench for 20 minutes, netted 11 points. Orlandor Westbrooks of Clark scored 23 points for the West, which was coached by LCC's Jim Roffler and Che Dawson of Highline.
In the women's games, the West All-Stars fell to the South 76-70. LCC's Nadra Evans started, scored two points and had three assists in 21 minutes, and Katie Garcin came off the bench for eight points, nine rebounds and three steals in 17 minutes.
Ilwaco's Ashley Kitzman was also selected to play in the game representing Clark College, but was replaced by teammate Kippy Powers.
Centralia's Amanda Atcheson scored 21 points for the West, which was coached by Centralia's Gary Viggers Jr. and LCC's Chad Meadors.
Longview native resigns as GH women's coach
Mary (Cranston) VandenHazel, who led the Grays Harbor women's basketball team to the postseason for the first time in 17 seasons, has resigned after coaching the Lady Chokers for the last two campaigns.
"This is a painful decision, but I flat found out that balancing family life and coaching at the college level was a monumental task," VandenHazel told the Aberdeen Daily World. "The bottom line for me is that I am a mom first and a coach second."
VandenHazel, who is married to Hoquiam High Principal Mark VandenHazel, is a mother of three who also works as a family therapist.
VandenHazel was hired to replace Pat Wulfekuhle in 2006, and led the Lady Chokers to a 3-22 record in her rookie campaign. This season, GH won one of its first 12 games before finishing 8-8 to grab the fourth berth from the NWAACC Western Division into the championship tournament.
"I'm just happy to be part of turning the program around," said VandenHazel, who said she doesn't plan to coach at the high school level in the foreseeable future.
A 1981 R.A. Long High graduate, VandenHazel was a standout on the Lumberjills' state championship basketball team. She later played at Skagit Valley College and Western Washington University before embarking on a coaching career at South Umpqua High in Oregon. She also served as an assistant coach at numerous high schools in Washington and Oregon before landing at Grays Harbor.
VandenHazel was assisted by her father, ex-R.A. Long coach Dwight Cranston.
Molner signs with Spokane
Mark Morris High golfer Jason Molner has inked a letter of intent to play men's golf at Spokane College.
As a junior, Molner carded a 4-under par round of 68 to finish tied for third, leading the Monarchs to third place in the team standings in the Class 2A State Championships in Bellingham.
In October, he placed fourth in the Class 2A District Championships in Tumwater, and will compete for a state title later this spring.
is a sportswriter for The Daily News. He can be reached at 577-2529 or