Klamath Basin — meet the new baseball coach at Henley High School, Adam Randall.
After the retirement of longtime head coach, Tim Cleland, the task in finding a coach for one of the top baseball programs in all the OSAA was presented.
Randall is no stranger to the community.
His wife, Kara, studied diagnostic medical sonography at Oregon Tech and played a season with the women’s soccer team.
Randall, born in Oregon City, is a graduate at West Linn High School.
His first coaching position came as an assistant at Dallas High School before he took the head coaching job at Madras High School in 2010 and was there for three years. From there, the Bend baseball program was Randall’s for five years.
New job opportunities arose for Randall and his wife, who took a position at Sky Lakes Medical Center.
Randall took a math teacher position at Henley and, a month later, applied for Henley baseball’s vacant position at head coach.
The job was his.
The very day after last year’s final school day, Randall and his family moved to Klamath Falls.
“Bend is getting pretty big and a lot of kids get lost in the shuffle. I love that in a small town, a lot of people combine to raise these kids,” Randall said. “We had to sell our home and bought a house down here. We have spent quite some time moving around.”
Randall first coached against Henley in 2010 when the team made the trip to the Basin.
It was right after that a friendship began to develop between Cleland and Randall.
The next meeting came in a preseason matchup in 2013 when Bend beat Henley, 12-0.
Henley did not end too horribly that year and won the first of back-to-back state titles.
The following year, the Hornets returned the favor at home with a 3-2 walk-off victory.
“I remember shaking hands with Tim after the first meeting we ever had and told each other we liked how each of our teams played the game. We have been best friends ever since,” Randall said.
“Coach Cleland and I talked almost nightly during the baseball season over the last 10 years, so our ideas on baseball are really, really similar. I think it will be an easy transition for the kids.”
Though the entire coaching staff has not been finalized, most of last year’s assistants will be back to coach with Randall. He also holds friendships with several other teachers and coaches at the high school in Dylan Woodrum, Luke Hammond and Brian Stock.
Randall is already well aware of the players he will coach this coming spring.
Through OSAA rules, he is only allowed to work with two players at a time, a limit that is not intact for 6A schools.
Two weeks before baseball practices can be held, he is allowed to work with eight players at a time.
Randall has yet to meet his entire team, but did attend several Klamath Falls Falcons games this past summer.
His accolades as a head coach have been plenty.
He made the state semifinals with Madras in his first season. The rest of his seasons, his team’s made at least the quarterfinals.
“A quote I love is that pressure is a privilege. I think the kids see that it is really fun to be one of those top teams in the state,” Randall said. “I do not think he (Cleland) talked about state championships all the time, but about small things you can control on a daily basis.
“We are lucky they have been prepared mentally before we got here.”
Along with Cleland, some of Randall’s top mentors are in 4A schools. He has learned from longtime coach at Gladstone, Casey Webster, who has been with the program for over two decades.
He is looking to set up preseason games this year with North Marion coach Randy Brack, who he used to play against while he was a varsity baseball player.
After playing four years of baseball at West Linn as a catcher, he played baseball at Mt. Hood Community College. He then transferred to Oregon State.
His ambition was to make the Beavers baseball team, but was told he lacked speed, arm strength and hitting ability.
A right shoulder injury hurt his chances after being at Mt. Hood, though Oregon Tech was one of the schools which expressed interest in him.
“Most people have a 30-degree angle on their clavicle, and mine is a 20-degree angle. It puts a lot of pressure to get that high-throwing angle that a catcher needs,” Randall said.
There has been no sacrifice made in coming to a smaller community after he has seen the population growth of Bend occur in front of his eyes.
This year will be the first season Bend will play in Class 6A, along with fellow schools in the same city, Summit and Mountain View. Bend will play in the Mountain Valley Conference this season with Salem schools — McNary, McKay, South Salem, Sprague and West Salem.
“To us, it is a big win because in a smaller school, it is easier to know who the kids are,” Randall said “It is not a step down, but a huge step up for our family to be at a school with the quality as Henley. It is one of the best baseball programs in the state. These kids want to be pushed so they can give their best. That is the culture here at Henley.”