Curtis Eccles won’t be back at GHC baseball

Curtis Eccles, who had been doing double duty coaching Hoquiam High School’s boys basketball and Grays Harbor College’s baseball teams, won’t be back at GHC.

Grays Harbor athletic director Tyler Gaston said Tuesday he will be posting the position for full-time candidates. Eccles had been appointed as the Chokers’ interim coach last summer.

The 42-year-old Eccles will continue as a Hoquiam teacher and boys hoop coach. He said he will also rejoin Steve Jump’s Grizzly baseball coaching staff as a varsity assistant and junior varsity coach.

Eccles was hired by the college last summer when Shon Schreiber resigned to take the Aberdeen High School baseball coaching position. Although designated as the interim coach, Eccles said he wanted to continue with the Chokers beyond the recently completed season.

The Chokers wound up 5-19 in league play and 7-34 overall in Eccles’ one year at the helm, a modest improvement over the 2012 season.

Gaston indicated that he considered it difficult for one person to do justice to coaching two sports at two different schools.

“They feel that I wouldn’t be able to do both and I honestly feel I could have,” Eccles said.

“First of all, I want to thank him for what he did,” Gaston said. “He helped on short notice in a really tough situation. We’re grateful for that and I thought he did a pretty good job. At the end of the year, I felt we needed him to (do) one or the other and he wanted to stay with Hoquiam. I really wanted it to be Curtis’ decision.”

Eccles confirmed that, given the choice, he preferred to remain at Hoquiam.

“I want to thank Tyler Gaston and the Grays Harbor administration for the opportunity to coach baseball this past year,” Eccles wrote in a statement. “It was a great experience and we saw a lot of improvement and made great strides throughout the program…Our coaching staff feels that we left GHC baseball in a good position for the next coach. I look forward to resume coaching at the high school level as Steve Jump’s varsity assistant and JV coach for next season at Hoquiam High School.”

Although better known for basketball, Eccles also had an extensive baseball background. A player on a state championship Castle Rock team, he had been the head baseball coach at Woodland before accepting the Hoquiam basketball job.

On the Harbor, he had been an assistant at Hoquiam and GHC and also coached his son in the Aberdeen Little League program.

Eccles said he had signed eight recruits for the 2014 GHC baseball team. Because of the coaching change, those recruits will have the option of altering their commitments, but Eccles said at least a couple indicated they would play for the Chokers.