Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

Search begins for Cards' baseball coach


The job to replace Kerry Kelly as Medical Lake baseball coach has begun, but the school has some time to fill the spot.

Following the recent resignation of Medical Lake head baseball coach, Kerry Kelly, the wheels are beginning to turn to find his replacement.

"We'll post it and post it as 'open until filled,'" Medical Lake High School director of athletics, Justin Blayne, said. "We want to try to recruit as many solid applicants as possible."

Ideally, Blayne wants to fill the position with a teacher, although Kelly was not and worked outside the school building.

"There's just no substitute for a coach who sees the kids on a daily basis," Blayne said. "It's not necessarily that we look for in-building coaches, (but) it's the best case scenario when one of your most qualified applicants conveniently already happens to work in the building."

Blayne hinted that there may be those in place in the district who could emerge as candidates. "There could potentially be someone on staff who would fit that bill but because of all the extenuating circumstances, I'm not going to get too far into that," Blayne said.

When Medical Lake's head boys basketball job opened last year, Blayne said, "We went through a pretty good process that we're going to follow again."

"We want to build up a strong applicant pool and go through a comprehensive interview with these applicants and hopefully come out on the other side with having a really tough decision to make," Blayne said. "That's what I hope."

It's fortunate that the urgency is not that which Blayne and former AD - now principal - Chris Spring experienced last year about this time.

That's when the revolving door in the Cardinals' volleyball program spun again as Kari Knowlton submitted her resignation after just one year to accept a teaching position in her hometown of Brewster, Wash. Todd Harr was a well-known commodity, however, and quickly accepted the job.

Kelly's tenure with the Cardinals has included a memorable 2013 Northeast A League regular season title and a run to the quarterfinals in the state tournament. That came after a 1-17 season in 2012. In seven seasons he had an overall record of 76-68 with five playoff appearances.

"I wanted to share that coach Kelly will be sorely missed as the head baseball coach at MLHS," Blayne wrote in an earlier email. "His heart to help young people grow and mature as baseball players and young men was remarkable. His commitments to activities outside his sport were also appreciated by our community."

Paul Delaney can be reached at

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