Former Ocosta High School coach Tim Wahl has been named the new head baseball coach at Grays Harbor College, GHC athletic director Tyler Gaston announced this week.
The 52-year-old Wahl succeeds Curtis Eccles, whose contract as interim coach was not renewed. Eccles guided the Chokers for one season after Shon Schreiber resigned the GHC job to become head baseball coach at Aberdeen High School.
“I was interested in still coaching,” said Wahl, whose coaching contract at Ocosta was terminated last year. “(The GHC) job was something that became available and I went for it. I didn’t like the way my experience ended out here, so I wanted to keep going.”
Wahl, who operates a family owned cranberry farm in the South Beach area, believes community college baseball is a better fit for his style of coaching.
“I’m at a level where all the kids are going to be there and the numbers aren’t a problem,” he said. “That’s kind of motivating to me and appeals to me. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Eccles had already begun the recruiting process in the expectation he would be retained. Since most community colleges prospects have already signed letters of intent, Wahl said he would likely rely on those recruits and returnees for the 2014 campaign.
“The first year is a transition year, basically,” he affirmed.
Defense will be Wahl’s primary focus at Grays Harbor.
“My main emphasis is we go out and play solid defensive baseball,” he said. “Hitting is something you have to keep hammering at and we’ll see how it goes.”
The son of state Hall of Fame football coach Jon Wahl, Tim was an all-league infielder at Hoquiam High School prior to his 1979 graduation. He later played at Fort Steilacoom Community College and Eastern Washington University, when the latter school was a member of the Northern Division of the Pac-10 Conference.
His greatest success, however, came in adult fastpitch softball — a sport he played for 17 years. He was a catcher for the U.S. National team for some 10 years and played in three world championship tournaments.
Gaston said he was impressed by Wahl’s ” overall experience in diamond sports.”
“The most important thing to me is a passion for the game,” Gaston added. “He’s been involved in baseball and softball his entire life and I think he keeps a pretty good demeanor. He’s just a baseball guy.”
Wahl coached at Ocosta for six years, with his teams compiling a combined 65-42 record. His 2007 Wildcat team won the Pacific League championship and earned a regional berth.