WINCHESTER — Umpqua Community College has found the man to run its reinstated baseball program, and it’s a familiar face to Douglas County sports fans.
Jeremiah Robbins, a 1990 graduate of Douglas High School in Winston and the current head coach at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, was selected by UCC.
Robbins, 46, is in his sixth season at LCSC and will resign there at the end of the season. He guided the Warriors to the NAIA championship game the past five years, winning titles in 2015, ’16 and ’17.
Lewis-Clark State is 24-5 this season and ranked No. 5 in the NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 poll.
UCC Athletic Director Craig Jackson said Robbins was picked out of a final pool of four candidates.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Coach Robbins to Umpqua Community College,” said Jackson. “His coaching success is almost unparalleled and he’s excelled at all levels of baseball. There are five qualities you want when hiring someone, and a local person is always advantageous. To have that along with everything else he brings is a huge bonus.”
UCC announced in January it would bring back baseball (the school dropped the sport in 1985), and track and field (dropped in 1996). The Riverhawks won’t begin competitive play in the Northwest Athletic Conference’s Southern Region until 2020, so Robbins will have a year to recruit a team.
Those athletes would be redshirted and still have two years to represent UCC on the field.
Robbins will also be the assistant director of athletic facilities at UCC.
Robbins has compiled a 256-63 record at Lewis-Clark State, a talent-rich program that has won 19 NAIA baseball championships. He told his team Saturday of his decision to accept the UCC position.
“I’m so excited for this opportunity,” Robbins said Monday. “To go back home and be near all of my family is something I couldn’t pass up. This is the only job that would take me away from Lewiston. Anyone who knows me knows how important family is to me.”
Robbins and his wife, Mareena, a schoolteacher, have two sons: Luke, 11, and Cal, 9.
“I would like to thank Jeremiah for continuing the Warrior tradition (in baseball) without missing a beat,” said LCSC Athletic Director Brooke Cushman. “It has been awesome to have him there. Obviously he’s an outstanding coach, but he’s even a better person. It’s sad to see him go.”
Robbins was the head coach at NCAA Division II Western Oregon University in Monmouth from 2006-12, finishing with a 252-109 record. The Wolves won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title each of those seven seasons and made five appearances in the Western Regional.
Robbins began his head coaching career at Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay (2000-01). He was assistant head coach at Lane Community College (2002), then spent two years at Douglas High (2003-04) as its head coach. He guided the Dr. Stewart’s American Legion summer team for two years (2003-04).
Robbins played at Douglas, College of the Redwoods, SWOCC and Western Oregon. He received all-conference honors as a catcher with the Wolves in 1998.