After guiding the Columbia Basin College baseball team to four consecutive NWAACC East Region titles, head coach Steve Farrington won’t be around next spring to try for No. 5.
After Farrington’s resignation became official Monday, former CBC player Chris Staton was hired to take his place. The coaching change was announced Wednesday.
Promoted to head coach after the 2008 season, Farrington went 139-62 at CBC, including 25-23 this year. The Hawks’ season ended with two losses in the NWAACC tournament in Longview. When Farrington started at CBC, there were three full-time baseball coaches on campus. By the time he left, there were none.
“To better ourselves, we need a coach on campus, and that wasn’t gonna happen,” said Farrington, a science teacher at Richland High School.Farrington said he isn’t done coaching, and CBC athletic director Scott Rogers expects to see him back in the game soon.
“From his standpoint, at (almost) 61 years old, he’s the most energetic guy I’ve ever been around, and he could coach forever,” Rogers said. “But financially, there’s a tradeoff for what he can do and what he can be compensated for.”
When Staton, a catcher/first baseman for CBC from 2002-03, learned about the coaching vacancy, he submitted himself as a candidate. With about a dozen players on the roster and no letters of intent signed for next year, Rogers invoked an emergency procedure to get Staton in place.
“What I charged Chris with is finding 25 guys within the next 45 days. That’s where it is,” said Rogers, who was Staton’s baseball coach at CBC. “It’s a very tall order, no question. But it’s been done before, and it’s been done well before, so it’s just a matter of where he is. He seems eager to spend that time and want to recruit.”
After graduating from CBC, Staton earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in education at Washington State University. In 2007, he became an assistant coach at CBC under Rogers and then Farrington.
Staton left CBC after the 2009 season and got married that October. In 2010, he joined the Southridge coaching staff and primarily worked with the Suns’ catchers.
Staton, whose wife, Tarah, recently stepped down as the Kennewick girls basketball coach, said he will do his best to fill the shoes of a man who was the head coach for 11 years at Lower Columbia College and six at WSU before coming to CBC.
“Steve’s been a lot of different places, won a lot of baseball games,” said Staton, who will continue to teach math at Kamiakin. “If I can win half as many games as Steve’s won in his career, it’ll be a good career for me.”
Staton’s immediate goal is to keep Tri-City talent from leaving the area for other NWAACC schools such as Walla Walla Community College.
“I’ll definitely try to remedy that by getting to those players early,” Staton said. “We’ll stick to that for next year and going forward.”