Sports

Waller sets milestone

When Jim Waller started coaching baseball at Oak Harbor High School 27 years ago he had three goals: win a state championship, make the coaches hall of fame and win 300 games.

The 52-year-old coach can now lay claim to two of those goals, after winning his 300th career game Wednesday night at home against Arlington.

He achieved his first goal when he was named to the Washington State Coaches Hall of Fame in 2001, along with current OHHS athletic director and former Cascade High School coach, Bob Smithson.

“It’s a special moment for me,” Waller said of his recent accomplishment. “I set that goal as a coach, of course, not so I’d have 300 wins, but so the kids would have success.”

Comparing his record to other coaches around the state who’ve had similar accomplishments, including 600-game winner Dave Johnson of Ephrata, Waller remained fairly modest.

“That just kind of puts things in perspective,” he joked. “For me it’s probably more longevity than anything.”

Waller has brought the Wildcats to the state playoffs six times and was the closest to achieving his third goal in 1990 when the Wildcats were within one game of taking the state championship. Oak Harbor lost a close 1-0 game to Fort Vancouver.

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