Columbia Basin College has found its next head baseball coach.
Gabe Boruff, a former volunteer assistant coach for Donnie Mar-but at Washing-ton State University, was named the Hawks’ new coach Tuesday by CBC athletic director Scott Rogers.
Rogers has been the interim baseball coach this spring after the school fired head coach Chris Staton in February for violating the school’s code of conduct for coaches.
With eight games remaining on the schedule, Rogers has the Hawks tied for third in the NWAACC East Region standings with a 13-7 record (22-8 overall). CBC plays host to first-place Treasure Valley (15-5 East, 24-8) at 1 p.m. today.
Rogers and his staff will finish this season, then Boruff will take over.
Meanwhile, Boruff was busy Tuesday scouting high school games, as he tries to recruit players for the 2014-15 season.
“I’m about three months behind from when kids could start signing,” Boruff said. “But there are still a lot of great players out there. A lot in this area. Then there are players over on the west side of the state, and in Spokane and Yakima. I’m getting feelers out, watching as much baseball as I can. It’s still a lot of fun.”
Rogers said he first met Boruff in 1999, when Boruff was a senior at Ephrata High School and Rogers — then in his second season as CBC’s head baseball coach — tried recruiting the youngster.
“He never came to play for us,” Rogers said. “He went to play for Ed Cheff (at Lewis-Clark State College). But we stayed in touch. He moved back into the area. He applied for the job, he interviewed, and he impressed the committee.”
After being part of two NAIA national championships at LCSC, Boruff signed with the Kansas City Royals.
He was an assistant coach at Wenatchee Valley College from 2005-07, the head coach for the Moses Lake Pirates (a West Coast Collegiate Baseball League franchise in 2006-07), then an assistant at WSU from 2008-11.
After the 2011 season, Boruff resigned at WSU and coached the Columbia Basin River Dogs Senior Babe Ruth team, taking the team to the World Series that year.
“The next year we moved, so I took the summer off,” Boruff said. “I’ve been doing a lot of hitting lessons and camps throughout the year.”
He currently works at Monteith Insurance in the Tri-Cities, and was recently hired to coach the Kennewick Bandits senior American Legion baseball team this summer.
All the while, he’ll be looking for players for the CBC program.
“We’re trying to get the best players we can,” Boruff said. “In junior college you have to load up every year. We’ve got some strong players. We want to recruit some impact players. Our goal is to create a competitive atmosphere between the freshman and sophomore classes.”