Rob Oram isn’t done with coaching football. But he’s done with being a head coach.
The long-time Hanford coach will turn in his resignation as head football coach of the Hanford Falcons today, ending a 10-year span that included three playoff trips and two winning seasons.
“It was time. I was just telling my wife this. I’m not dying. I completely enjoyed being a head coach, and for 15 years before that I really enjoyed being the assistant coach. But the time was right,” he said. “I’m very appreciative of the unconditional support from the administration, and I really valued all the relationships with the people on staff and staffs of the other schools.
“And of course I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to have worked with thousands of wonderful kids.”
Oram went 33-68 since taking over the program in 2005, leading the Falcons to the regional playoffs three times. He also took them to the Class 3A state playoffs in 2009 despite a 4-7 record, snapping Hanford’s 16-year drought of reaching state.
He has helped advance the football careers of several standout players, including Aaron Neary, a starting offensive lineman at Eastern Washington; Cam Wagar, a starting defensive back at MIT; Jalen Devine, a running back at Redlands (Calif.) University; Dallon Grinder, a offensive lineman at Eastern Oregon; and Xavier Johnson, a linebacker at Carroll (Mont.) College. But Oram enjoyed the teaching aspect of coaching and imparting daily life lessons that go hand-in-hand with a team sport.
“That’s why you get into coaching. You want to have a positive impact on young men and help them develop into quality individuals,” Oram said.
Oram, a 1984 Hanford graduate, spent 12 years as an assistant coach under Greg Sevigny before taking over as head coach when Sevigny resigned in 2005. Including his 10 years as head coach, Oram has spent the last 22 seasons on the Hanford coaching staff and been a part of the program for 25 seasons total as a player or coach. He had also served as an assistant boys basketball coach under Paul Mayer, another Falcons graduate.
Oram, a Washington State graduate, went 3-7 in his first three seasons before going 6-4 in 2008.
He did not rule out a return to coaching but said he might take some time to enjoy watching his son, Jake, further his college football career at Simon Fraser.
“We’ll just wait and see. If there’s a position available that’s attractive, I’d listen,” Oram said. “But it will not be a head coaching position. When your feet get on the grass, football is awesome. When sitting at a desk, it’s not as much fun.”
Oram, 47, is the sixth head coach in Hanford football history. Fred Strankman was the first in 1972, going 8-0 against a junior varsity schedule. Glenn Meinke went 6-31 from 1973-1976, followed by Dan Schwisow, who was 4-14 over the next two seasons.
John Morgan took over the program in 1979 and went 64-42 in 11 seasons, winning four Mid-Valley League championships and taking the Falcons to state five times. Oram played on Morgan’s first two MVL championship teams in 1981 and 1983 and was a member of Hanford’s first two state-qualifying teams in 1982 and 1983.
Sevigny was next, going 68-73 in 15 seasons from 1990-2004.
As for who will be the seventh head coach at Hanford, one possible candidate is Hanford offensive coordinator Charlie Hobbick, who returned to Oram’s staff this season after a five-year stint as Kiona-Benton’s head coach. Hobbick was a member of Oram’s first coaching staff in 2005.