Mazama High School has named longtime winning baseball coach Pete Whisler to head its program this spring.
“Pete was selected because of his many years of experience and knowledge of the game,” said Vic Lease, Mazama High School athletic director. “He has had proven success wherever he has coached.”
Whisler is no stranger to Mazama athletics. As head baseball coach for the Vikings in the 1990s, he compiled a 113-17 record over five seasons, winning the Class 4A state championship in 1996. Whisler also was named the Class 4A coach of the year in 1996. Since then, he has continued to coach, leading high school and college teams to successful seasons and championships.
For the past few seasons, Whisler has been assistant coach for Henley’s program. He will replace Josh Moore, who was Viking head coach for three years, compiling a 37-33 overall record.
Whisler will officially start coaching pitchers and catchers on March 22. Full team practices start April 5.
His coaching philosophy focuses on fundamentals and discipline.
“Fundamentals are what make young athletes better,” he said. “I’m old school. I’m real tough on athletes, but I’m also the first one to tell them they’ve done something good. If they can play for me, they can go on to play college ball for someone.”
The Vikings will have a 15-game season, playing each Skyline Conference team three times. At the end of the season, OSAA will host a culminating week, but those details are not yet finalized.
Whisler, who works full-time for the Klamath County School District as a GED specialist at Falcon Heights, has coached at every level — professional, collegiate, and high school. He also played professional ball with the Cleveland Indians for two years in the 1980s. The 1979 Klamath Union graduate helped his team win the state championships his senior year before playing college ball.
Since 1988, Whisler has served as head coach of the Klamath Falls Falcons American Legion squad with the exception of a few summers in early 2000 when he coached professionally. The Falcons regularly made the state playoffs under Whisler, winning the state championship in 1996.
After coaching at Mazama in the 1990s, Whisler took the head position at South Medford High School before returning to Klamath Falls in 2002 to coach Oregon Tech’s Hustlin’ Owls. He led the Owls to first place in Cascade Conference and advancement to the regional tournament.
After Oregon Tech, he served as co-head baseball coach at Klamath Union, leading the Pelicans to the playoffs each year, where they made the quarterfinals, and a semifinal. From there, he was an assistant coach at Mazama for a couple of years before transferring to Henley as an assistant for the past five seasons.
At Mazama this season, he will push athletes to improve their skills and has hopes for at least a scaled-back game schedule.
“We just want to have some kind of season where kids are out there competing,” he said. “There are some good athletes at Mazama right now. My goal is to see some of the seniors go on to play at the next level.”