Port Angeles head baseball coach Casey Dietz congratulates Gavin Guerrero after reaching base in a 2019 game against Bremerton. Dietz has resigned from the position after posting a 23-15 record, 18-9 in Olympic League play in two seasons as head coach. (Port Angeles Baseball)

Port Angeles head baseball coach Casey Dietz congratulates Gavin Guerrero after reaching base in a 2019 game against Bremerton. Dietz has resigned from the position after posting a 23-15 record, 18-9 in Olympic League play in two seasons as head coach. (Port Angeles Baseball)

PREP SPORTS: Dietz steps down as Roughriders baseball coach

Posted 23-15 record in two seasons

PORT ANGELES — In a squeeze play of a different sort, Port Angeles High School head baseball coach Casey Dietz has stepped down, with the Port Angeles School Board expected to accept his resignation at Thursday night’s board meeting.

Formerly an assistant coach with the Roughriders under previous head coach Karl Myers, Dietz took over the position in late 2019, inheriting a talent-laden lineup with state-championship aspirations in 2020.

COVID-19 derailed those plans, however, canceling the entire 2020 season and condensing the 2021 season.

Dietz’ Riders fared well overall despite graduating a host of talent after 2020 and 2021, posting a 23-15 overall mark, 18-9 in Olympic League play and 3-2 overall against league rival North Kitsap.

The 2022 squad was jam-packed with youth, and predictably stuttered in the early going in a crowded Olympic League playoff chase. But the Riders rallied, beating No. 1-ranked North Kitsap and winning three consecutive loser-out district playoff games before running out of gas and falling one game shy of a state tournament berth.

Dietz offered a statement on his resignation.

“I resigned because things have changed and I felt it was the right time,” Dietz said. “In looking back at my time, I am going to miss the kids, miss spending time with the coaching staff and the kids. I could not be more appreciative of those who stood by me and supported me throughout my growth and development both on and off the baseball field.”

District Athletic Director Dwayne Johnson declined to comment on what led to Dietz’ resignation, or if Dietz was asked to resign voluntarily instead of being fired.

“I would like to thank Casey for his service to the athletes at Port Angeles,” Johnson said.

Dietz said his teams prided themselves on pitching and defense.

“We stressed the importance of taking care of the baseball, improving fundamental skills and being able to prevent runs,” Dietz said. “Offensively, we tried to adapt our game plan to the team’s strengths, and I don’t think we overly relied on any one aspect. We tried to put the kids into the best position for success.”

He looked back on imparting a little-appreciated piece of the game to his players.

“I’ll look back fondly on our coaching staff’s ability to teach bunting,” Dietz said. “It’s not taught so much anymore, it’s considered boring. But to do it shows an ability for the player to put the team ahead of self. So I give credit to our coaching staff and our kids for buying into what we taught and being selfless.”

Dietz, a physical education teacher at Jefferson and Roosevelt Elementary schools, recently celebrated the birth of his first child, Elizabeth Catherine, with his wife Kahle, a sixth-grade teacher at Hamilton Elementary and a volleyball assistant for Port Angeles last fall.

“We decided this is where we want to be to raise our family,” Dietz said. “We love the area, love the people here and couldn’t imagine our lives anywhere else.”

Dietz said he would focus on his dad duties for the foreseeable future before potentially getting back into coaching.

“I’m going to take time off for now, but coaching is obviously something I am extremely passionate about and sharing that love of sports. But right now, I’m excited about being a dad.”

Riders on Hawks’ turf

The Port Angeles football team will take on North Kitsap in the Lumen Field Showcase, a full day of high school football at the Seattle Seahawks’ Lumen Field on Sept. 17.

The contest will kick off at 6:15 p.m.

There are three pricing levels for tickets: $43.95 for the first four rows, $28.95 for general admission and $14.95 for student tickets with ID.

To buy tickets, visit callplaybook.com/PortAngeles.

One other contest has been announced with more expected to follow: Tenino will face Klahowya at 12:15 p.m.

Port Angeles will open the season with home games against Blaine on Sept. 2 and Anacortes on Sept. 9.

Horton new girls coach

Daniel Horton, a Port Angeles High School alumnus with ample experience as an assistant coach across a number of boys and girls sports, has been selected as the new Roughriders head girls soccer coach.

Johnson confirmed the hire on Thursday.

Horton has been a longtime assistant with the Port Angeles girls basketball, football, softball and baseball teams.

The district also is advertising for a girls soccer assistant coaching position.

Fall sports practices for every sport except football begin Aug. 22.

________

Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at [email protected]

More in Sports

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Lefties' Golden Tate hits into an RBI double as Bend catcher Isah Burk looks on during a game in June at Port Angeles Civic Field.
PORT ANGELES LEFTIES: Lefties pulled in the fans again this season

Team had a shot at postseason late; several individuals had great seasons

Dick Brown Tournament winners
YOUTH BASEBALL: Port Angeles teams shine at Dick Brown tournament

The 11- and 12-year-old divisions were both won by… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Dan James
Nearly 800 people rode in the Tour de Lavender this weekend in Sequim and Dungeness valleys, with the event expected to raise $20,000 to help main the Olympic Peninsula Trail.
CYCLING: Tour de Lavender returns to pre-pandemic levels

Cyclists returned to pre-pandemic numbers for the Tour de Lavender… Continue reading

More days of recreational shrimping are being added for the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca.
(Eric Winther/Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)
OUTDOORS: Shrimp days added for eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca

With quota remaining in the recreational spot shrimp fishery, state… Continue reading

Port Angeles Lefties
PORT ANGELES LEFTIES: Nanaimo sweeps Lefties to end season

The Port Angeles Lefties completed their season on the… Continue reading

Photo by Sam Nugent
Extreme Slug Racing’s 2022 winner, Big Kahuna, sponsored by Northwest Board Room, pauses for a photo after winning race No. 1 and No. 2 in Saturday’s annual event. The races are held in conjunction with Joyce Daze, with all proceeds benefiting Clallam County Fire district No. 4 in Joyce.
JOYCE DAZE: Big Kahuna dominates the slug races

Big Kahuna, sponsored by Northwest Board Room, outpaced the field… Continue reading

SeaWalker charter skipper Fred Walker caught this good-sized chinook while fishing out of Neah Bay. Upon filetting, the flesh was found to be white, caused by a recessive genetic trait found mainly in kings from the Fraser River north to Alaska.
OUTDOORS: White kings a genetic rarity

Hatchery coho fishery until Sept. 25 in Marine Area 9

Most Read